The recipe works best with finely ground polenta or coarsely ground cornmeal. If using instant polenta, add squash, salt and bay leaf to the water for 15 minutes before stirring in the polenta.
You could easily substitute ground turkey or beef for the Italian sausage; simply add 2 tsp. granulated garlic, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, and 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes when you add the meat in step 3.
Recipe is from East Side Table and adapted from Melissa Clark with New York Times Cooking.