Mushroom Ragu with Polenta

June has begun and we have been so wrapped up in trying to sell/rent our townhouse and buy a new house. It’s been hard enough to find the time to cook, much less photograph and write about it.

This is a dish we recently made and it was too delicious to keep it to myself. The mushrooms in this ragu give the dish such a heartiness that you don’t miss the meat at all. The polenta gives it an extra lusciousness without making it too heavy. This will appeal to vegetarians and “meatarians” alike!

The polenta is fairly simple and straight-forward.


1 cup instant/quick cooking polenta
4 cups vegetable/chicken broth
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

Mushroom Ragu
adapted from Giada de Laurentiis, Food Network

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound mixed mushrooms (cremini, oyster, shiitake) chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Marsala
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4-1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup grated Parmesan

For the ragu, in a large skillet heat the oil. When almost smoking, add the onions and garlic over medium-low heat until the onions have wilted, about 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Raise heat to high and saute until mushrooms are tender and all the liquid has evaporated. Remove pan from heat and pour in Marsala. Return pan to stove and allow wine to evaporate, about 3 minutes. Add chicken broth and simmer for 1/2 hour until the sauce has reduced by half. Add heavy cream and mix well. Take the pan off the heat and add the fresh herbs and Parmesan and mix thoroughly.

For polenta, pour 1 tablespoon olive oil in a serving bowl and then set aside. Then bring the chicken stock to a bowl. Once it boils, lower the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the polenta. Continue to stir until the polenta starts to pull away from the sides (maybe 5 minutes). Then pour into serving bowl and let stand for 5-10 minutes.

Once the ragu is done, pour over the polenta and serve.

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