• 1 ½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
• ½ cup light sour cream
• ¼ cup milk
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 3 ounces provolone or mozzarella cheese, shredded (3/4 cup total – ½ cup in potatoes and ¼ cup to top casserole with)
• 1 ½ pounds bulk sweet or hot Italian sausage
• 1 medium red sweet pepper, chopped (3/4 cup)
• 1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 -14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
• 12 ounce package frozen peas (1 1/2 cups)
• ¼ cup chopped bottled pepperoncini salad peppers
• 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
• Snipped oil-packed sun dried tomatoes and/ basil leaves
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large saucepan cook potatoes in enough lightly salted boiling water to cover for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender; drain. Mash with a potato masher or beat with an electric mixer on low speed. Gradually add sour cream, milk and salt, mashing or beating to make potato mixture light and fluffy. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook sausage, sweet pepper, onion, and garlic over medium heat until brown, stirring to break up meat as it cooks. Drain off any fat. Stir in undrained tomatoes, peas, pepperoncini, mustard, and oregano. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes to blend flavors. Spoon sausage mixture into a 2 1/2-quart baking dish.
Spoon mashed potatoes (POLENTA) in mounds over sausage mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake about 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese melts. Top with sun dried tomatoes and basil, if desired.