The Year of the Balls continues! I swear I am not going to post ball recipes every week. I didn't intend to this week... but once I got this idea into my head I had to eat it. I love salsiccia... a flavorful Italian sausage. Using sausage for meatballs is kind of a shortcut... they already have all the flavor and fat you need. I just added some bread, onions and cream to make them a bit more tender and less dense than just plain sausage. This is a fun take on classic Italian sausage and peppers!
Salsiccia Balls with Peppers and Polenta-2 small slices of french bread-1 cup heavy cream (divided)-1 medium red onion-5 cloves garlic-1 Tablespoon olive oil-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional... if you use a spicy salsiccia, you might not need this)-1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped fine, divided-1 lb. salsiccia (removed from casings if necessary)-3 bell peppers, cut into strips-3 cups water-1 cup polenta-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese1. Tear the bread into tiny pieces and soak in 1/3 cup of the cream. Meanwhile, dice up HALF of the red onion and cook in the olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat until soft and starting to brown. Add 1 minced garlic clove and cook another 30 seconds. Remove to a medium bowl to cool slightly. Add the cream-soaked bread, red pepper flakes, a small handful of chopped parsley and the salsiccia to the bowl with the onions. Use your hands to mush and mix together until well blended. Form mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls.2. Cook half of the meatballs in the skillet on medium-high heat, turning gently until well browned on all sides and cooked through. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate and drain the grease from the skillet. Cook the rest of the meatballs in the same manner and remove to the plate with the others, but do not drain the grease this time. Slice the other half of the onion and cook it with the peppers and the rest of the mince garlic in the sausage drippings until just softened. Season with salt to taste. Add the meatballs back in, along with the rest of the chopped parsley and toss to combine and heat through.3. Add the polenta slowly to 3 cups of boiling salted water, stirring constantly. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes, continuously stirring (use a long spoon for this to avoid burns... it will bubble and splatter hot polenta!!). turn off heat and add the rest of the cream and the cheese. Stir until incorporated. Season with salt to taste. Serve the meatballs and peppers over the polenta.
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