Polenta wedges with mushroom and sun-dried tomato ragu

We love this dish because it is so versatile. Serve it as a side, a meatless main course, even reheat the leftovers to serve with poached eggs for an impressive brunch.

Ingredients

Ragu:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs mushrooms of your choice, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes (pack in oil), drained
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup white or red wine (whatever you have on hand)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Polenta:

  • 4 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1 cup medium or coarse cornmeal
  • 3/4 grated Parmesan cheese, gorgonzola or a combination
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsps freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Preparation

  1. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper; set aside
  2. Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tsp of olive oil, then the mushrooms and cook about 10 minutes, until the mushrooms release their juices and take on a nice, golden brown color.
  3. Add the onions, garlic, and thyme and cook another 4 to 5 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, wine, and stock. Season with salt and pepper, reduce the heat to medium, and cook covered, about 10 minutes. Uncover the mushrooms and cook another 20 minutes, or until most of the juices are reduced and the mushroom mixture is thick. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, bring the 4 cups of water or chicken broth to a boil in heavy bottomed pot. Whisk in the cornmeal then switch to a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the polenta is thick and creamy. Stir in the cheeses and thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Spread polenta evenly into prepared baking pan using back of a spoon or spatula. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper. Flatten, smooth and form nice edges by gliding your hands across top of parchment paper.   Put in fridge to cool for at least 1 hour. (This step can be done a day ahead.)
  6. Once chilled, pat slab dry with paper towels if any moisture has formed. Cut evenly into wedges or squares.
  7. In a non-stick pan over medium-high heat, heat oil. Place a polenta cake in pan; DON’T move it. Let it fry for 2-3 minutes per side untouched or until golden brown. Flip and repeat on other side.
  8. Drain on paper towels. Place on serving plate and spoon over mushroom ragu.  Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and garnish with fresh thyme leaves.  Serve immediately.


Servings

Makes 8 servings


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