Mushroom ragu

Serves 4 30 minutes preparation. 30 minutes cooking time. very easy. gluten free. vegetarian


For the polenta
500g milk
250g water
125g polenta
3g salt
30g EV olive oil + extra for brushing the polenta
30g butter
black pepper, freshly and coarsely ground
for the mushroom ragu. see tip 1.
10g dried porcini, crumbled
350g cold water
50g butter
200g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
150g open champignons
sea salt
black pepper, freshly ground
100g p/w onion, finely chopped
20g chantrelles
20g trompetta

Shock horror we make polenta in the microwave and even my picky Genovese friend thought I had been standing for hours at the stove stirring. Put the milk and water into a microwave safe bowl and bring it to the boil. Stir in the polenta and continue to stir until it has the consistency of a very thin anglaise (custard). Add the salt and return it to the microwave for 8 minutes on medium high, whisk and cook for another 4 minutes on medium high. Add the 30g olive oil and butter and whisk with an electric mixer until they are incorporated and it is very fluffy. Oil an oven proof dish 20 cm x 15 cm, and not less than 3 cm high. Scrape the polenta into the dish and smooth the top. Stand on a rack and allow to cool completely. When completely cold cut into four, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Pre heat oven to 200_C
Put the dried mushrooms into the water. Gently ease the polenta from the tin onto a baking sheet covered with baking paper, and brush with olive oil and put it in the oven.

Put a wok on high heat, add the 50g butter and when it is foaming add the Swiss brown and champignons, season and cook stirring until they have expelled their liquid and are lightly coloured. You might need a little extra oil or butter. Add the onion and continue cooking until it is lightly coloured. Add the chantrelles and trompetta, stir over and then add the reconstituted dried mushrooms and their liquid. Boil rapidly until the liquid is reduced to a sauce consistency. Turn the heat down and keep warm. The polenta should be golden.

Carefully lift a piece of polenta onto warmed plates and divide the mushroom ragu over and around it. Serve immediately.


This is a dish that can be either inexpensive made with cooking mushrooms or luxurious with a mix of fresh and dried European mushrooms even add some fresh truffle or truffle paste. We have posted the latter version, but if you want to stick to a budget, double the onion, and replace the mix of mushrooms with 400g cooking mushrooms.

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