This memorable brunch centerpiece is rich with cheesy polenta, crumbled sausage and baked eggs.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through step of spreading polenta in baking pan up to 2 hours ahead; hold the polenta at room temperature and refrigerate the sausage until ready to bake.
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 4 cups water, plus more as needed
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal (see Ingredient Note)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces Italian turkey sausage, casing removed
- 1/2 cup shredded fontina or mouncezarella
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
- 6 large eggs
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Gradually whisk cornmeal into the boiling water. Add salt and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the polenta bubbles, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook, whisking frequently, until very thick, 10 to 15 minutes. (Alternatively, once the polenta comes to a boil, transfer it to the top of a double boiler, cover, and place over barely simmering water for 25 minutes. This is convenient, because you don't need to stir it as it cooks).
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add sausage. Cook, stirring and breaking the sausage into small pieces with a spoon, until lightly browned and no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Drain if necessary and transfer to a cutting board; let cool. Finely chop when cool enough to handle.
Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
When the polenta is done, stir in fontina (or mozzarella) and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano. If the polenta seems too stiff, add small amounts of water to thin it to a thick but not stiff consistency. Spread the polenta in the prepared pan.
Make six 2 inch-wide indentations in the polenta with the back of a tablespoon. Break eggs, one at a time, into a custard cup and slip one into each indentation. Scatter the sausage on the polenta and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano evenly on top of the eggs.
Bake the casserole for 15 minutes. Then broil until the egg whites are set, 2 to 4 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Ingredient Note: Polenta, a creamy Italian porridge, can be made from any type of cornmeal. Coarsely ground cornmeal, available in many natural-foods stores, is a great option because is has big corn flavor and light texture. It's usually labeled "cornmeal," but some brands are labeled "polenta."
Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
295 calories; 17g total fat; 6g total saturated fat; 241mg cholesterol; 683mg sodium; 17g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 19g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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