Roasted Italian Sausage and Grapes Over Polenta

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by Michael on September 13, 2013 · 0 comments

in Uncategorized

This recipe for roasted Italian sausage  and grapes over polenta is nothing new. I just haven’t made it in about 20 years. Not since Chicago. The kitchen there was almost smaller than our bathroom and one or two pot dinners were required. So for a small city kitchen, this is ideal.

But this has been sitting in my head for almost a year. Ever since Cousin Jim brought it up at one of our Seattle get-togethers. His mother-in-law made a version of this and he reminded me how good it was.

And as I wish for fall, this is the kind of dish to get things going.

Deceptively simple, this is simply good. And it is infinitely scalable and can be altered in so many ways. Sweet cherry tomatoes can replace the grapes. Add garlic or remove the onion. This dish doesn’t care. Add a teaspoon of fennel or some red chili flakes? Sure! Why not?  Really, this can be modified all you want.

The combination of sweet and savory is the key. Just keep that in mind and it will all work out. This does not take to long to make but it is better if it is note rushed. The amount of fat in the sausage and the amount of sugar and water in the grapes sill vary. But it should take no more than 40 minutes.


5 or 6 links of pork Italian sausage – about 20 ounces
1 pound red seedless grapes
½ red onion sliced thin
½ cup white wine
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons vinegar


4 ¼ cups water
1 cup yellow corn grits
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper.
4 ounces ground Parmesan.
2 tablespoons butter.
one tiny pinch of baking soda



Bring water to a boil in a heavy saucepan.
Whisk in corn, salt and a pinch of baking soda.
Bing mix to a low boil and whisk for 1 minute.
Cover and cook on the lowest setting for 5 minutes.
Whisk again for one minute.
Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Turn of heat and whisk in butter and finely ground cheese.
Whisk for on minute and lest rest on the burner on off.
Whisk again 5 times over the next 5 minutes.
You can keep adding small amounts of water and stirring until the rest of the dish i s ready.

For the sausage and grapes 

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat a ovenproof skillet large enough to hold everything on a medium flame.
Add the sausages and brown on all sides for about 7 – 10 minutes.
Remove the sausages and remove all but a film of the fat.
Do not wash the pan, just remove some of the fat if any.

Add the butter to the pan and melt.
Add the grapes and coat with the butter.
Add the sausages back to the pan.
Scatter the onions over the top and mix into the pan.
Add the white wine and place in the oven.
Cook for 20 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and place on medium heat on the stove.
Remove the sausages to a plate.
Stir the grapes until all are cracked and slightly reduced.
Add the balsamic vinegar and bring to a low boil for 2 minutes.
Add the sausages back into the pan and coat.

Serve the sausage over the polenta and cover with the grape sauce.

A side of steamed broccoli would be a nice accompaniment.


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