Hi, hi, hi. It’s Wednesday!

Ratatouille with Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage and Creamy Polenta | halfbakedharvest.com

Ready for the ultimate end of summer meal?

Ah, I hope so!

Ratatouille with Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage and Creamy Polenta | halfbakedharvest.com

This is loaded with fresh garden veggies or in my case, fresh from the store garden veggies since the only thing I currently have growing right now is a bush of basil and a bush of mint.

Thankfully, they are doing well…

Which is surprising since I have them inside (of course) in the smallest pot, with barely any soil. I know, know, recipe for disaster!

But hey it’s working, so why fix what’s not broken?

Ratatouille with Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage and Creamy Polenta | halfbakedharvest.com

Ok wait.

I have to tell you guys, this week is a pretty big week around here.

Ratatouille with Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage and Creamy Polenta | halfbakedharvest.com

See, little Asher turns five on Friday.

Yes, five!! I still cannot believe it.

Honestly, birthdays around here have never been that big of deal (well they used to be, back when we lived with gazillions of family in Ohio, but in Colorado – not so much), but for some reason Asher’s birthdays are a big deal. I mean, we started celebrating last Friday and I have feeling the, “ok, fine only because it is your birthday” line will continue on through the long weekend.

Oh and there are lots of treats being made. Treats for school, treats for everyday and um, a big chocolate on the inside pink on the outside cake. It’s gonna be good.

Ratatouille with Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage and Creamy Polenta | halfbakedharvest.com

Obviously, these veggies in this meal are kind of needed right now.

All the veggies equal out all the sugar, right?

Yeah, right!

Ratatouille with Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage and Creamy Polenta | halfbakedharvest.com

This ratatouille is kind of the perfect transition meal from summer to fall. Early September is such a weird food time. Sometimes it is really hot and all you want is summer food, but then it cools off at night and that comfort food craving hits.

This is the perfect fix.

It’s got all the fresh summer veggies, but that creamy, cheesy polenta makes it a total comfort food.

I love creamy, cheesy polenta!

Oh, and those colorful things too. The veggies? Yeah those. I love those too.

Ratatouille with Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage and Creamy Polenta | halfbakedharvest.com

Ratatouille with Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage and Creamy Polenta

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Serving Size: 6

Ingredients

1 pound ground spicy italian chicken sausage
1/2 onion, copped
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
2 small zucchini, chopped
2 small summer squash, chopped
1 small eggplant, chopped
2 red peppers, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Creamy polenta
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
2/3 cup polenta (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. To make the polenta. Pour the chicken broth and milk into a medium size saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the polenta. Cook, stirring frequently, until the polenta is soft and thick, about 15 to 20 minutes. Keep warm and then just before serving, stir in the parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. If the polenta seems a little thick you can add a tablespoon of butter or extra milk.
  2. To make the, ratatouille, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the sausage and break apart into small pieces. Brown the sausage all over, about 5 minutes. Remove the sausage from the skillet and set on a plate.
  3. Add another drizzle of olive oil to the skillet, add the onions and garlic to the pan. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and lightly caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the eggplant and thyme to the pan and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is partially cooked, about 5 minutes. Add the red peppers, zucchini, and squash and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes balsamic vinegar, basil, oregano, salt and pepper, to taste, and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve warm over the creamy, cheesy polenta.
http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/ratatouille-spicy-italian-chicken-sausage-creamy-polenta/

Ratatouille with Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage and Creamy Polenta | halfbakedharvest.com

Look at that color though, it’s totally cheesy healthy comfort food!

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