To each his own. That’s what I want you to remember as we go through this post.

Also. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Words to live by.

I love the mafia. The Godfather. The Sopranos. The episode of Law and Order that I watched at the gym yesterday. For a long time, I was pretty sure that Tony Soprano was my long lost boyfriend.

Err. Uncle. I. Meant. Uncle. Sure you did.

Grocery shopping is one of my favorite recreational activities.

I can’t post what the other ones are. (Where is Donna when you need her?)

Running is my oxygen. And with that being said, it is amazing that you haven’t found me lying on the floor turning blue from hypoxia yet. Damn you hip strain. Damn. You.

I knead bread when I’m stressed out.

I like vanilla more than chocolate.

I like caramel more than vanilla.

I like cinnamon the most.

I am a firm believer in the idea that. A Friday night without dancing. Is a waste of a Friday night.

I have a (not so) secret aspiration to be the next Food Network star.

I know all of the words to the Wicked soundtrack.

Justin Timberlake was (and is) my favorite member of N’SYNC.

I used to listen to N’SYNC. And the Spice Girls.

Peanuts are one of my five food groups. So is ice cream.

I get cravings for broccoli. Intense ones.

Talk about an identity crisis. Have you ever seen a list of more disjointed statements? In one blog post?

This is what ran through my mind when Sophia of Burp and Slurp commissioned her readers to create a dish that exemplifies who they are. Easier said than done. Because first I had to figure out who the f*** that is.

What I discovered amidst all of this self reflection is that. I am a ball of contradictions. (And also that I am possibly the least lucid person. Ever. But it’s hard to cook something representative of that. So we are going to pretend I didn’t mention it.)

So here we have a dish that is also a ball of contradictions. A little salty (Italian sausage). A little sweet (balsamic vinegar). A little high end (mascarpone). A little low brow (polenta – really just corn meal mixed with some broth).

That comes together. To be a whole lot of satisfying.
Sausage and Eggplant Polenta
Serves 2

2 links pork sausage
1 eggplant
balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp butter
1/2 onion
1 clove garlic
3 cups broth
1 cups polenta/corn grits
1/8 cup mascarpone
1/8 cup parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400. Cut the eggplant into chunks. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and salt. Roast for 20 minutes or until soft.

In a 4-qt saucepan, melt 2 T of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sweat them until translucent and aromatic, 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Slowly add the polenta while whisking and reduce the heat to low. Cook over low heat for 2 hours, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and whisk in the mascarpone, parmesan, and remaining 4 tbsp butter. Season to taste.

Remove the sausage from it’s casings and saute until crispy.

Put the polenta in a bowl. Top with the pork and the eggplant. Enjoy.

This is my submission to Sophia’s You Are What You Cook Challenge.

Also, check out my monthly post over at Our Krazy Kitchen!

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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70 Responses to Sausage and Eggplant Polenta

  1. HA ha…i love to each his own…like rite now ,on a sat note …am with mom in the kitchen stirring very goan curries w a indian tweak….
    Maybe i should be out dancing or drivin or shopping but no ,i love both the choices and we play with what rocks our boat and i love ur honesty about writing what u like ,i aint ashamed too nor i find any reason too and u rock any which babes …u sure do….as much as this sausage and eggplant polenta…..
    only Joanne can come with a combi as good and i love that too…

    Caramels ,vanilla cinnamon spiced chocolate…ahoy…ahoy ….here we come…

    cheerfully happy choclaty cinnamony vanilla laced weekend to u……

  2. local sweet moira bananas grillin too…there’ll be caramalizes sugar on one side and aint i tossing a salad too and aint i kneading dough for the indian fluffs as i call this flat bread(oil free and delicious)… curried it is…
    ok rite now my whole attention is on ur sweet ,slightly salty and high end flavours and thats why am back here…to visualize and almost have my taste buds relish em…..
    And eggplants rock our kitchen almost everyday here…yuppie the seasons right here….

    And u sure are going to have a delicious weekend with a recipe as this….
    ok gotta run…time to turn the bananas……and wipe a brow…its pretty warm in the kitchen and i love my johnsns wet tissues more than evr now….

  3. so very scrumptious! I love the pics and the recipe Joanne!

  4. doggybloggy says:

    only you – now what the heck is hypoxia – off to google I go!

  5. The dish is superb. This post gives me an insight of who you are, slice of you! Nice to know that there is someone out there with chaotic and ball of contradictions, just like me.

  6. You are what you cook – I love it!
    I could also be accused of being somewhat schizophrenic in my cooking, but I like to think of it as well-balanced. A little of everything. 😉
    I love the combo you have here! There is some left for me, right?

  7. Kris says:

    I love that first picture! Looks fab!

  8. Karine says:

    Contradictions are much more interesting than what is considered as normal. Especially because the normal is defined by where someone lives.

    I love the cheeses you use in this recipe. Great combo.

    Grocery shopping is also one of my favorite activities. I fortunately (for my mind) and unfortunately (for my wallet) work close to the only Whole Foods in Toronto. That’s a great place to escape during lunch hour 🙂

  9. Bob says:

    Heh, awesome. Great post. 😀

  10. Pam says:

    Yumm! I love polenta! We are on the same page today girlie! I posted a recipe too with polenta…well I wanted to use it, but the store was out so had to opt for mush…which still worked!

    Have a great day!


  11. Megan says:

    Love the randomness and totally awesome facts about you.

    Who knew you harbored a secret crush on Tony Soprano AND loved broccoli so much?

  12. lovely click joanne and nice dish too

  13. Debbi Smith says:

    I think it looks great and I love contradictions. I just wrote a post for a spicy and sweet cranberry quesadilla last night about contradictions in food and humans though yours is written so much nicer. I’m still working on that.

  14. Chris says:

    I love grits but have never had polenta. Need to get off my duff and make some!

  15. Julie says:

    Very nice representation, I’d say. Looks quite delicious 🙂

  16. Michelle says:

    Your recipes with Polenta always sound so good. Yep we’re having Grits and Shrimp tonight!

  17. Sophie says:

    What a lovely & tasty dish, Joanne!

    MMMMMMMMMMMMMM,…I don’t love grits but I do love a good polenta! Yum!

  18. I love your list! Can we secretly be food network stars together. We would have an amazing show:)

    I love eggplant but never thought to pair it with eggplant. Your pictures are making me drool!

  19. Sippity Sup says:

    That’s quite a “dish”, and if that’s who you are then you must be very popular at parties. GREG

  20. Mimi says:

    I think you should be the next food network star.

  21. This is a very interesting combination, and exemplifies the complexity of your personality and desire to achieve balance well…errr… Did I read too much into this post? j/k It looks good!

  22. Andreas says:

    All those statements just show different facets of your personality. 🙂

    Great dish invention.

  23. Marcia says:

    Oh my goodness, this looks so good. Anything with eggplant will make me very very happy.

  24. This looks delicious! I could go for a nice plate right now! Hey, my cooking is cheap and easy – yikes! LOL! Going over to check out Sophia’s blog now 🙂

  25. Looks good and I love your honesty. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. It does a heart good!

  26. Hey, i was worried with all your strains if you are still running Boston?

    And polenta is such a great dish to flavor… mascarpone?? what a great ingredient!

  27. Kathleen says:

    This dish looks like all my favorites! Its a perfect comfort meal!

  28. Mari says:

    HAHA I always wanted to be a Mafia Princess!!!!! I am obsessed with those movies and the Sopranos!

    If I were eating meat, I would be knocking on your door RIGHT NOW!

  29. Pam says:

    Oh, this sounds good! I’m going to bookmark this for when I have tons of eggplant from my CSA.

  30. ruchikacooks says:

    All those comparisions are making me hungry 🙂
    Polenta with eggplant looks good Jo.

  31. Tony Soprano – ewwwww! I’d opt for the young Vito Corleone or Justin Timberlake but I don’t want to sound cougar-ish.

    How this relates to polenta, I have no idea, but yours looks great 😉

  32. oh great meal and cool challenge

  33. My favorite teacher at the lycée was Monsieur Morin who would stand in front of (all45 of us) and say “L’homme est ecartelé par ses contradictions” tr: man is torn by his contradictions. (I later found out if applied to him especially since the man had a rather complicated love life). Well. That is something to be proud of!
    Love your dish. Love polenta, Love all the rest too.

  34. Judy says:

    Thanks for this recipe, I can’t wait to try it.

  35. katiez says:

    Very interesting – I just happen to have a bit of mascarpone in the fridge… Shame to waste it….

  36. melrose says:

    Thank you for returning my ‘visit’!!!
    I am writing in Serbian/Croatian, and now since I have international readers I’ll write in English as well! And thx. for the compliments for my recipes:)!!!

  37. That eggplant and polenta dish looks so good! Enjoy reading all of your musings!

  38. lisa says:

    I’m with you on several of your preferences–vanilla is way better than chocolate! Your dish of contradictions looks great. Mascarpone in polenta is the best!

  39. Mary says:

    I loved your post today. It’s so nice to get to know more about the people you read everyday. You are very quirky, very interesting and lots of fun. Your casserole is not bad either :-). Polenta is a favorite here, so you have a captive audience.

  40. sra says:

    Aren’t we all disjointed? 🙂 Nice reading, this post!

  41. I LOVE learning random tidbits about people. Your list is much appreciated; I especially like the one about Friday nights being incomplete sans dancing. And, as always, the dish sounds wonderful. Happy Sunday 🙂

  42. love the contradictions…. life gets fun and exciting because of contradictions, right? and these trivial facts about you make you more endearing to me!

    you are a great material for the next foodnetwork star! ok fine, i’ll move over and give you my foodnetwork slot hahahah but promise me a guesting and I’ll be content with that ok? oh joanne you crack me up!

  43. Chef Aimee says:

    OMG I can’t believe you like vanilla more than chocolate!!!!
    Its okay I forgive you. 🙂

  44. Thanks for stopping by my blog. This looks really great. Gonna try it replacing the balsamic vinegar with vintage sweet sherry. 🙂

  45. Kim says:

    This is a very cute post Joanne! I think we all suffer from identity crisis. I know I’m all over the place.
    I think you chose a great recipe to express yourself, a little sweet and a little salty!

  46. Deborah says:

    You know, I would have never thought to put these ingredients together, but the more I think about it, I think they are a perfect match!

  47. Nicole, RD says:

    What a combo! Yum!! As usual : )

    P.S. Left you an award the other day. Just wanted to be sure you saw it 🙂

  48. Karen says:

    This is a really nice combination of flavors; bet it was delicious!

  49. PJ says:

    aha, this combo sure represents your point of view so well! Now, I am not much into Tony Soprano as such, but if my gym were to ever show anything half as good as sopranos, I would be there in jiffy in no time 😉

  50. Faith says:

    I would absolutely love to see you on the Food Network, Joanne! (Hey, you never know! 😉 ) This dish definitely looks like it comes together beautifully…great entry for Sophia’s challenge!

  51. I have been seeing polenta everywhere. It must be a sign that I should make some this weekend. I love the idea of pairing it with eggplant – delish!

  52. sophia says:

    Thanks for this wonderful submission, Joanne! Really loved learning more about you, too, as confusing and complicated as it might be!
    But there is one thing NOT at all complicated abt this dish: it’s freaking gorgeously WONDERFUL! And so are you, my dear!

  53. Amy says:

    “Grocery shopping is one of my favorite recreational activities” – YES! And when I can go without the kids it’s like a mini vacation.

    “I like vanilla more than chocolate” – I thought I was surely the only one on this.

    “I like cinnamon the most” – it is the BEST spice.

    “Justin Timberlake was (and is) my favorite member of N’SYNC.” – and he’s wicked funny.

    “I get cravings for broccoli.” Love.

  54. Linda says:

    Hmmm… I hate grocery shopping…but… I knead bread when I’m stressed… I love vanilla better than chocolate… I love caramel better than vanilla… so some things are the same…

    oh and I can’t list my favorite activities either… I miss Donna too!

    I love the dish you created… sounds absolutely delicious! …

  55. Nostalgia says:

    I am sure you will be a food network star with the personality you have. Great post.. you always bring a smile with your writing.. great dish and nice metaphor for who you are. I am not far a ball of contradictions myself.

  56. Shirley says:

    Introspecting again? We all have contradictions dont we, but it would have been tough to capture that in a recipe. Well done.

  57. gaga says:

    I’ve never cooked polenta before but love eating it. This looks great!

  58. theUngourmet says:

    a. I have intense cravings for broccoli as well! and
    b. Just where the heck is Donna, anyway???

    Very nice entry! Your first shot is awesome!

  59. Debinhawaii says:

    A great combination of ingredients–and totally you too! 😉

  60. Katy ~ says:

    You delight me, with all your contradictions as you may call them. That’s what makes you “you.” Wouldn’t trade in one one quirk!

  61. Marisa says:

    Ooooh you’re taking me back in time now with your Spice Girls talk.

    “Yo, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want,
    So tell me what you want, what you really really want,
    I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want,
    So tell me what you want, what you really really want,
    I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really
    really really wanna zigazig ha.”

  62. Laurie says:

    This is truly comfort food! Thanks for sharing.. love it!

  63. Ann says:

    Buah ha ha – LMAO! Marisa (previous commenter) is a woman after my own heart – I was going to write that same line from the Spice Girls – I wanna…I wanna..I WANNA really really EATSUMOFTHATSAUSAGEANDPOLENTA….

  64. Jessie says:

    That brain picture brings me back to neuroscience labs – yikes! We just learned about achalasia for our last test. I can’t believe a whole liter of food will fit in your esaphogus. That’s gotta be uncomfortable. Your pasta looks fab 🙂 Can’t wait to peruse the BSI entries!

  65. Cynthia says:

    This looks amazing! I love eggplant and sausage so the combination can only be delicious. We seem to have the same aspirations to be the next food network star. We should join forces and create a cooking show together! I can eat, you can cook, and when I pass out from too much eating, you can resuscitate me with all your medical knowledge. So you really get gluttony, science and cooking all in one show. Sound like a hit to me!

  66. Oh goodness; it scares me how many of those items fit me to a T 🙂

    I have been nagging DH all week to bring home some broccoli since it is on sale – I am going through withdrawals!

  67. It IS a crazy mix, but such a marvy mix of lovely comfort foods. 🙂 I’m glad you’re so quirky, Joanne! You’re absolutely delightful with your randomness. 🙂

  68. Joanna says:

    I adore turkey burgers, no matter what anyone thinks, plus that avocado dough is on my to do list, but I’m procrastinating. The pesto bread is cooling now, so I’m forcing myself to wait to slice it so I won’t burn my tongue. It smells a-fricking-mazing.

  69. I can’t believe chocolate is at the bottom hehe but like you said, to each his or her own! It’s always great learning more about you and I love how you came up with this unique delicious dish.

  70. Kerstin says:

    I love your ingredient combo – the eggplant with the grits and sausage sounds fantastic! And I’m with you on dancing 🙂

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