Monday, November 29, 2010

Mushroom Ragu with Creamy Polenta


There are plenty of reasons to do Meatless Mondays, but I like the challenge of finding flavorful, hearty meals that leave you feeling satisfied and this Mushroom Ragu fits the bill.

The process started by sauteing shallots in olive oil until soft. The recipe calls for 1 pound of mushrooms (1/2 lb. cremini, 1/2 lb. button, all quartered). Half of the quartered mushrooms were added with the heat brought up to high and sauteed until browned. The cooked mushrooms were removed from the pan and the other half of the mushrooms were added to the same skillets with a little more olive oil and browned. Once cooked, both batches of mushrooms were combined in the pan. A diced fresh tomato joined the pan, along with some vegetable broth, sherry, balsamic vinegar and tomato paste. This mixture was allowed to simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, before being sprinkled with parsley, thyme, and salt and pepper to flavor.

While the mushroom ragu was simmering, the polenta was cooked. A cup of vegetable broth and a cup of skim milk were brought to a boil and 1/2 cup of yellow cornmeal was whisked in. The heat was reduced to low and allowed to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often. Once thickened, 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese and a tablespoon of heavy cream were stirred in and seasoned with salt.

The polenta went on to the plate and topped with the ragu. This was a hearty and filling dish.

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