With our freeze-now, serve-later dishes, you can give your family a comfy meal on even the busiest weeknight. This Italian casserole delivers comfort with creamy polenta and a hearty tomato ragu studded with spicy sausage and eggplant.
- 12 oz. hot Italian turkey sausage
- 12 oz. meatloaf mix (veal, pork, and beef) or ground beef chuck
- 1 jumbo onion
- 2 clove garlic
- 1 can whole tomatoes in puree
- 1 small eggplant
- 4 c. water
- 1 can chicken broth
- 1½ c. cornmeal
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¾ c. freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
- In 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven, cook sausage and meatloaf mix on medium-high 5 to 6 minutes or until browned, stirring and breaking up meat with side of spoon. With slotted spoon, transfer meat mixture to medium bowl.
- To same Dutch oven, add onion; cook on medium 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in garlic; cook 30 seconds. Add tomatoes with their puree; heat to boiling on high, breaking up tomatoes with side of spoon. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Add eggplant and meat; cover and cook 5 minutes on medium. Uncover and cook 10 minutes longer or until eggplant is tender, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In microwave-safe 4-quart bowl, with wire whisk, combine water, broth, cornmeal, and salt. Microwave on High 15 to 20 minutes or until cornmeal mixture is very thick. After first 5 minutes of cooking, whisk vigorously until smooth (mixture will be lumpy at first); whisk 2 more times during remaining cooking time. Remove from microwave, whisk in Romano.
- Spoon 2 cups hot polenta into each of two 1 1/2-quart shallow casseroles. Spread polenta over bottom and up sides of casseroles. Spoon filling over polenta. Spread remaining polenta around casserole edge to form a rim.
- Bake one casserole 30 minutes or until hot. Let stand 10 minutes for easier serving. Meanwhile, prepare second casserole for freezing (seeThawing and Reheating Tips).