Mascarpone Polenta with Sausage and Peppers

Italian, Main Dish, Pork | 13 comments

Despite my Italian heritage, I’ve never had a bite of Polenta before last month. Truth be told, I wasn’t even one hundred percent sure what it was. My neighbor, also Italian, is always raving about how Polenta is his favorite dish his mother makes for him. To him it is pure Italian comfort food. So, after trying my first bite while out with friends last month, I decided that this was indeed something the goodLife {eats} kitchen needed to experience! Who could truly call themselves Italian and not have tried Polenta?

I didn’t do the responsible thing and search for a recipe that was highly rated before trying Polenta out for our Sunday dinner. I didn’t even ask my neighbor how his mom made her recipe. Instead, you could say that I threw caution to the wind and made it up as I went – a method that often works great for me when I actually have a clue as to what I’m making. I had very few assumptions about what this dish would be like, if Eric would like it or not, and if the end result would even be blog worthy. Let me tell you this: positive on all accounts. Rich with flavor, filling on the tummy, husband approved, and definitely blog worthy. Here is how I imagined a bowl of creamy Italian Polenta on a late Sunday afternoon.

Mascarpone Polenta with Sausage and Peppers

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  • 1 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage
  • 1 red onion, halved and sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Mascarpone Polenta, recipe follows

Mascarpone Polenta

  • 4 2/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan


For the Sausage and Peppers:

In a skillet or saute pan, cook the sausage over medium heat until crispy and browned on all sides. Remove, slice into half inch thick rounds and return to pan until cooked through. Remove and set aside.

Over medium-high heat, saute the onion (adding olive oil if necessary) in the same pan the sausage cooked in. When tender and fragrant, about 5 minutes, add the garlic and saute a minute more.

Add the wine to deglaze the pan, making sure to scrape up any browned bits. Simmer until the wine has reduced by half. Add the peppers, fennel, salt, and pepper, cooking about 3 minutes more until the peppers are tender but still brightly colored. Serve a top a bed of mascarpone polenta.

For the Polenta:

Add the water and salt to a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil and add the cornmeal, whisking to break up any lumps. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring periodically. Remove from heat, stir in the mascarpone and parmesan. Serve immediately.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Paula - bell'alimento - December 21, 2009 @ 2:31 pm

    Brava Katie! It's definitely a comfort dish. I LOVE Polenta. So many different ways to eat it! You'll have to try it grilled as well ; )


  • 2
    Maria - December 21, 2009 @ 3:24 pm

    I love polenta, I will have to try this with roasted veggies:)


  • 3
    Amy @ Living Locurto - December 21, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

    This looks so good. Thanks and Happy Anniversary!


  • 4
    Sara - December 21, 2009 @ 8:08 pm

    This looks fabulous! Definitely need to give it a try… :)


  • 5
    Abby - December 22, 2009 @ 2:01 am

    I LOVE cheese grits, and while polenta is a bit different than grits I can see how mascarpone would be a fabulous addition. I'm definitely going to try this!


  • 6
    Jamie - December 22, 2009 @ 3:46 am

    This looks delicious! I have never tried polenta! Happy Holidays!


  • 7
    Georgia Pellegrini - December 22, 2009 @ 4:12 pm

    Mmm this looks lovely. Hearty for these cold months. I just made a hearty stew and it was perfect for the cold first snow.


  • 8
    Amy J In SC - December 22, 2009 @ 8:15 pm

    I've never made polenta before either but I have made a lot of grits. Definitely gonna try this though. I bet the mascarpone and parmesan add wonderful flavor.


  • 9
    Meal Makeover Mom Janice - December 23, 2009 @ 8:30 pm

    I love polenta and this is a great recipe to try out on my daughters. Comfort food at its best!


  • 10
    Lauren - December 24, 2009 @ 3:18 am

    This looks lovely! I love these flavours, and it sounds unbelievably comforting =D.


  • 11
    Karine - December 24, 2009 @ 12:53 pm

    This looks delicious! I had never thought we could make mascarpone polenta. Miam :)


  • 12
    Debrah - May 11, 2011 @ 2:44 am

    Awesome, that’s definitely what I was searching for!


  • 13
    Spike - June 20, 2015 @ 8:30 pm

    I realize this recipe was put up a long time ago but wanted to say how good it is. I used store-made Italian chicken sausage and didn’t have any peppers and I used chicken stock instead of water. It was an amazing meal, definitely on my “make again” list.


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