Sausages Braised in Tomato Sauce Over Polenta

It’s hard for me to think of dinners that aren’t pasta. When I have sausages in the refrigerator, for example, I think of all of the different pastas I can make with them: rigatoni with sausage and broccolini, ziti with sausage, onion, and fennel. I think I took it too seriously when Sophia Loren said: “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.”

A year or two ago, though, I developed a dinner that feels like a pasta dinner that isn’t a pasta dinner, it’s a polenta dinner. I take whole sausages, brown them in olive oil, add onions and garlic to the pan, make a quick tomato sauce, and braise the sausages in there. Meanwhile, I cook a pot of polenta at the same time.

Continue Reading

Sunday Gravy

deepdiscussion

The thing about Thanksgiving is that people have expectations. They expect some kind of squash soup, they expect turkey, of course, and stuffing and taters (mashed and sweet) and all kinds of pies for dessert. Maybe that’s why I don’t like cooking it: the element of surprise is fairly limited (“Oooh look, he put cranberries in the stuffing!”) and even if you half-ass it, people will still enjoy themselves as long as there’s plenty of wine. Where’s the fun in that? Where’s the challenge? It’s not just the tryptophan that makes Thanksgiving dinner a sleepy affair.

Continue Reading