Polenta Sausage Mozzarella Casserole

Anything with blobs of melty fresh mozzarella is going to be good.

Olive oil
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 yellow onion, peeled, halved lengthwise then cut into wedges
1 bell pepper (red, green, orange or yellow), cut lengthwise into thin slices
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 pound Italian sausage (removed from casings), sweet or spicy
2 pounds of prepared polenta, 1/2-inch slices if using prepared polenta in a tube
1/2 pound (8 ounces) fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/4-inch slices

Heat 3 Tbsp of olive oil in a large (2-3 qt) saucepan on medium heat. Add the tomatoes and oregano. Bring to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.

While the tomatoes are cooking, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the sliced onion, bell peppers, garlic, salt, pepper, and chili flakes to the sauté pan. Cover the pan, lower the heat to medium, and cook until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, stirring and breaking it into small pieces as it cooks, about 5 minutes. Cover the pan and cook until the vegetables are tender and the sausage is cooked through, about 5-8 more minutes. Add the tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.

While the sauce is cooking, coat the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan with a 1 Tbsp oil. Add the cooked polenta (or slices) to the pan. Coat the top of the polenta with a little more olive oil. Broil the polenta about 4 inches from the heating element until golden brown and crispy, about 10-15 minutes.

Pour sauce over broiled polenta, then arrange mozzarella slices over the top and return the casserole to the broiler. Broil until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Watch is closely. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

We had this with a salad.

Did I change anything? I left out the onion and added an extra bell pepper.

What did the family think? This was super yum. Everyone liked it except our youngest who was a little disappointed that there was polenta under all that sauce instead of regular pasta.

from simplyrecipes.com

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