Pesto Polenta is quite delicious on it’s own, but have you tried mixing it with Sausage Ragu & Mozzarella? Go ahead and grab a napkin, there’s drool running down the side of your face. We’re obsessed with this polenta recipe.
I am loving winter weather in the Carolinas.
The days are cool and crisp, giving me the opportunity to whip out all of my colorful scarfs and boots that I used to wear when we lived in San Francisco. This past weekend, my family and I attended the drive-thru Speedway Christmas Light Show in Concord. It was a great way to get into the festive spirit and we had an absolute blast.
Speedway Christmas Light Show
Prior to the light show, we dined at the Speedway Club for dinner.
We arrived early, as Dylan usually wants dinner around 5pm. Our table was situated alongside the windows overlooking the entire track. Brandon and I both ordered a glass of wine and we simply relaxed as a family. We were pleasantly surprised with their child friendly amenities and our son loved watching the speedway turn from “light outside” to “colorful outside”. To be honest, he yelled out with excitement when the light show started and I think we inadvertently scared the older couple sitting next to us a few times. Whoops.
Speedway Club Dining Room
Each weekend we try to do something together as a family… and each weeknight we try to eat together as a family.
Now that the cool weather has arrived, my mind (and stomach) starts to crave all those comfort meals that keep our bellies warm.
I sometimes wonder what I would be cooking for dinner if I hadn’t started blogging. I try to keep my recipes unique but familiar… and for the most part, I’ve always been willing to try new things. The world of blogging has given me the opportunity to work with many local and regional brands, so I’m often thinking outside-the-box when it comes to using their products in a recipe. Do you remember these Plantain Chilaquiles from last month? (Ok… now I’m drooling.)
In this recipe I used She’s Pesto, a locally-owned pesto company that graciously gave me a couple bags of their product to test in recipes.
I wanted to introduce their pesto in a dish other than pasta… and voila, Pesto Polenta came to mind. We first served this entree as a plated dish, using the Pesto Polenta as the base and topping it with Sausage Ragu alongside fresh herbs. We had ample leftover and since I don’t like serving the same dish back to back, I revamped those leftovers into these handheld delights. Sliders are perfect for lunch, dinner, or they would even be great for that upcoming holiday party or game day spread.
- 1 lb. Turkey Sausage
- 1 small White Onion, chopped
- 12 ounces White Mushrooms, washed & minced
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- Butter, for cooking
- 1.5 cups Pasta Sauce (add more/less to your thickness preference)
- 18 ounces pre-cooked Polenta, cut into small chunks
- ½ cup Heavy Cream
- 1 tbsp. Butter
- 4 ounces Pesto
- 1.5 cups Mozzarella, shredded
- ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 6 Slider Rolls, cut in half
- 1 cup Mozzarella, shredded
- ¼ cup Butter, melted (optional)
- ¼ cup fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley (optional)
- Make the Sausage Ragu: Heat a tab of butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until cooked & lightly crisped, about 7 minutes. Remove mushrooms from pan, add another tab of butter and sauté onions for about 8-10 minutes. Remove onions from pan, crumble sausage and sauté until brown and crispy, about 10 minutes. Once the sausage is cooked you'll need to add the mushrooms, onions, garlic and pasta sauce. Mix and simmer for 10 minutes to let flavors blend.
- Make the Pesto Polenta: Add polenta chunks into a medium saucepan with heavy cream and butter over medium heat. Bring to a low simmer and gently use a masher to combine all ingredients into a thicker sauce-like consistency. Fold in the mozzarella and parmesan and remove from heat. Polenta will thicken as it sits. (Note: If preparing for sliders, place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. This will make the mixture super thick and easier to spread onto the slider rolls.)
- Assemble Sliders: Place bottom half of the slider rolls in a greased baking dish. Evenly spread desired amount of pesto polenta onto each roll. Top with desired amount of sausage ragu, then sprinkle evenly with mozzarella. Add the top half of the buns to each slider. (Optional: brush each slider top with melted butter.)
- Cook Sliders: Bake in a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes, or until tops are slightly browned and the center is warmed. (Loosely cover with foil if the tops are browned but you need the filling to warm a little longer.)
- Eat: Remove from oven and enjoy immediately.