Mushroom Ragu With Creamy Polenta

Mushroom Ragu With Creamy Polenta
This recipe is for those who are trying to cut out meat from their diet and still crave something hearty with a great texture. The braised, slow-cooked mushrooms give that meaty, umami hit and sit on super silky polenta.
Icon_cookingtime_grey Created with Sketch. 30 mins
Icon_apron_grey Created with Sketch. Easy
Icon_cloche_grey Created with Sketch. Serves 4
Mushroom Ragu With Creamy Polenta

Ingredients

For the mushroom ragu

2 medium onions, finely chopped

2½ tbsp olive oil

2 medium carrots, diced

2 sticks celery, chopped

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

800g (1.8 lbs) mixed mushrooms (chesnut, button and portobello all work well)

1 400g/14oz tin chopped tomatoes

3 sprigs thyme

120ml (½ cup) red wine

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 spray liquid smoke (optional)

For the polenta

160g (1 cup) quick cook polenta

¾ tsp table salt

1 good glug extra-virgin olive oil

How to make

  1. In a large pot or casserole dish, sweat the onions in the olive oil over a medium heat for 10 minutes.

  2. Add the carrots, celery and garlic to the pan and saute for 10 more minutes. Meanwhile, roughly slice half of the mushrooms and finely chop the rest.

  3. Add half of the chopped and sliced mushrooms to the pot. When they have reduced in size a little add the rest of the mushrooms.

  4. Once these have cooked down a little (approx 5 min) so there is room in the pot, add the tomatoes, thyme, red wine and soy sauce. If using, spray in the liquid smoke.

  5. Stir well and bring to a boil. Turn it down to a simmer and leave, partially covered, for 45 minutes.

  6. Now that your ragu is ready, it's time to make the polenta. Make sure those who are eating are ready to eat as the polenta goes from creamy to stodgy very quickly.

  7. Bring 950ml/4 cups water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the salt while it is coming to a boil.

  8. With the water at a simmer, slowly pour in the polenta, whisking all the while. Keep whisking until all the polenta is in. Add the olive oil and whisk it in. The polenta I use only takes about 3 minutes, but it can vary, so keep your eye on it.

  9. Turn the heat off before you think the polenta is as thick as you'd like it (it will carry on thickening).

  10. Serve the mushroom ragu over a large serving spoonful of polenta in warm bowls. Grind over some black pepper, and salt if you think it needs it.

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