I cannot bang on enough about how easy and delicious this meal was. And it was created in less than half an hour, with ingredients that would have cost a few mere pounds per portion – I shit you not.
The inspiration for having a tomoatoey, sausagey mix came from Spuntino’s unbelievably good sausages with cheddar grits. Eff knows what they put in that to make it so amazing, but my simpler polenta and Toulouse sausage version is a more than adequate every-day substitute.
I used Toulouse sausages for easy instant flavour and cooking them in a can of tomatoes with a spoonful of dried chipotle gave the dish the smoky sweetness it required. Omitting the cheese from the polenta made it much healthier without particularly compromising on flavour, though I don’t doubt a handful of strong cheddar would be a decadant but satisfying addition. For a vegetarian version, some sauteed aubergine, courgette and peppers would make a fine substitute. A smoky ratatouilleif you will.
Served with a load of wilted garlicky spinach, you could say it was like having exotic sausage and mash, and ended up feeling like a real treat dinner in the wasteland of January budget-health cooking.
Click through for recipe
Ingredients (serves 2)
3 Toulouse sausages (chopping them up means this is well enough for 2, and makes a packet of 6 go way further)
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon of chipotle chilli (dried or paste. Add more if you want it more smoky/spicy)
1 veg stock cube
Half a bag of spinach
1 clove of garlic
Brown sausages in a frying pan. Remove and chop into bite-size chunks.
Add a can of tomatoes and chipotle to the sausage pan. Return the sausages, along with half the tomato can of water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10mins. Season with salt and pepper.
Bring 400mls of water to the boil with the veg stock cube and a splash of olive oil. When boiling, whisk in the polenta, reduce slightly and simmer for a couple of mins to get a rich mash potato consistency.
As the polenta simmers, add spinach, garlic – crushed, and a dash of oil to a frying pan and stir until wilted.
Spoon the cooked polenta onto a plate and make a well in the middle. Fill the well with spinach and top with the tomato sausage mix.