Basque Sausage with Creamy Polenta

This sausage dinner shows off the rich, hearty country cooking of southern France and northern Spain.

Prep Time:
35 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs


  • 2 ½ pound sweet and/or hot Italian sausage links

  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 14 ounce can chicken broth

  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice

  • ¾ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2 medium red and/or green sweet pepper, cut into strips

  • 10 ounce fresh spinach, coarsely chopped (about 10 cups)

  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

  • 1 recipe Creamy Polenta

  • cup cold water

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

Creamy Polenta

  • 3 ½ cup water

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal

  • ¼ cup milk

  • 2 tablespoon purchased dried tomato tapenade or basil pesto

  • ½ teaspoon salt


  1. In a very large skillet cook sausage over medium-high heat about 8 minutes or until browned, turning once. Remove from skillet, reserving any drippings. Cut sausage into 2-inch pieces (sausage will not be cooked through). Set sausage aside.

  2. In the same skillet cook onion and garlic in reserved drippings about 3 minutes or until tender (add olive or cooking oil to skillet, if necessary). Carefully add broth and lemon juice. Add salt, marjoram, and ground black pepper. Return sausage to skillet. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add sweet peppers; simmer, covered, 10 minutes more or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the sausages registers 160 degrees F.

  3. Meanwhile, in a 4-quart Dutch oven, bring a small amount of salted water to boiling. Add spinach. Cook, covered, until just wilted, about 30 seconds. Drain spinach; transfer to a bowl. Stir in vinegar. Set aside.

  4. Using a slotted spoon transfer sausage mixture to one half of a serving platter. Spoon Creamy Polenta onto the other half; cover to keep warm. In a screw-top jar combine 1/3 cup water and the flour; cover and shake well. Whisk into cooking liquid in skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly; cook and stir 1 minute more. Spoon some of the sauce over Creamy Polenta and sausage mixture. Top sausage mixture with spinach. Pass remaining sauce. Makes 6 main-dish servings.

Creamy Polenta

  1. In a saucepan bring 2-1/2 cups of the water to boiling. Meanwhile, in a bowl combine yellow cornmeal, remaining water (cold), and salt. Slowly add cornmeal mixture to boiling water, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture returns to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, until mixture is thickened, stirring occasionally. Before serving, stir in milk until mixture is creamy. Gently stir in purchased dried tomato tapenade or basil pesto, swirling with a spoon or spatula to achieve a marbled appearance.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

709 Calories
44g Fat
32g Carbs
33g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 709
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 44g 56%
Saturated Fat 18g 90%
Cholesterol 130mg 43%
Sodium 1871mg 81%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 12%
Protein 33g
Vitamin C 72.6mg 363%
Calcium 121.2mg 9%
Iron 3.8mg 21%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.