Sausages in tomato sugo with creamy polenta

Adam Liaw
Sausages in sugo with creamy polenta.
Sausages in sugo with creamy polenta. Photo: William Meppem

This dish is all about exchange. The tomato sauce gives a lovely sweetness to the sausages, while they add a delicious savoury note to the sauce. Creamy polenta seals the deal.


¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 brown onion, finely minced

4 garlic cloves, sliced

8 good quality pork sausages

1 tbsp tomato paste

700ml tomato passata

salt, to season

handful of fresh basil leaves

freshly ground black pepper, to serve

Creamy polenta

1½ cups water or chicken stock

1½ cups milk

½ cup polenta

½ tsp salt

50g cold butter, cut into cubes

¾ cup freshly grated parmesan


Heat a medium saucepan over low-medium heat and add the olive oil, onion and garlic. Fry for about 8-10 minutes until fragrant and lightly browned. Increase the heat to medium, then add the sausages whole and fry until lightly browned.

Add the tomato paste and passata and season well with salt. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the sausages for 30 minutes until cooked through, and then simmer for a further 10-15 minutes uncovered until the tomato sauce has thickened. Stir through the basil and finish with a grind of black pepper.

While the sausages are cooking, prepare the polenta by bringing the water or stock and milk to a simmer. Whisk in the polenta and salt, then reduce the heat to very low. Keep on a low heat for about 30 minutes, whisking occasionally, until the polenta reaches the smooth consistency you like. Just before serving, whisk through the cold butter and parmesan. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Serve the sausages (sliced if you prefer) and the sauce with a generous portion of creamy polenta.

Serving suggestion: My rocket and pickled fennel salad cuts through the richness of the sausages.

Adam's tip If you don't want to make polenta, then a bit of crusty bread and some olive oil is delicious for mopping up the sausages and their tomato sauce. You could even toss with some penne and top with a generous grating of parmesan.