Creamy Polenta with Sautéed Mixed Mushrooms

Creamy Polenta with Sautéed Mixed Mushrooms

In just 30 minutes, what I thought was to be a side dish ended up so satisfying and hard to stop eating that it ended up serving as the main dish for dinner. I was looking to fill out a meal of leftovers from the night before, but what remained ended up as dinner for the next night. You'll want to enjoy this polenta hot right from the pan, though if you are making it for only two, as I did, you will have leftovers. But the leftover polenta can then be pressed into small discs and pan-fried until golden and topped with any remaining mushrooms or some tomato sauce for another delightful meal.

The polenta is delectably creamy, enhanced by the addition of butter stirred in at the end of the cooking time. The polenta itself is only seasoned with some salt, making it a perfect backdrop to succulent and earthy sautéed mushrooms and a simple red wine and herb sauce that contrasts beautifully in flavor and texture with the polenta. There is nothing fancy going on here, just basic staple ingredients that come together quickly, yet they work their magic and you are left with a beautiful plate that could proudly stand on its own among more fancy and time consuming preparations.

Creamy Polenta with Sautéed Mixed MushroomsCreamy Polenta with Sautéed Mixed Mushrooms
Recipe by
Cuisine: Italian
Published on May 6, 2019

Creamy buttery polenta topped with sautéed mushrooms in a red wine and herb sauce

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

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  • 4 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb (450 g) mixed mushrooms (I used a mixture of shiitake and cremini), sliced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (optional)
  • Begin by making the polenta. In a medium saucepan, bring the water or vegetable stock and salt to a boil. Slowly pour the cornmeal into the pot, whisking as you go to avoid clumps. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 12 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until the water is absorbed and the polenta is thick.

  • While the polenta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the shallot and garlic and sauté for a few minutes to soften. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the mushrooms to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the mushrooms begin to release their liquid and brown slightly.

  • Pour in the red wine, add the rosemary and thyme, and simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes, reducing the heat slightly as the mushrooms cook and stirring often, until most of the wine has reduced.

  • Whisk together the vegetable stock and corn starch and then pour this mixture into the mushrooms. Simmer for another few minutes until the sauce has slightly thickened. Stir in the parsley if using, season with a bit of salt and pepper, and remove the pan from the heat.

  • Once the polenta is cooked, stir in the butter until melted. Remove the pan from the heat.

  • To serve, spoon the polenta into serving bowls and top with some of the sautéed mushrooms with their sauce.

Makes 4 servings

Creamy Polenta with Sautéed Mixed Mushrooms

Other recipes featuring polenta from Lisa's Kitchen:
Polenta with Mushroom Ragout
Mushroom Polenta Pizza
Tomato Soup with Polenta Croutons and Chive Oil
Artichoke Tart with Polenta Crust and Fresh Rosemary

Audio accompaniment: Samuel Barber - Adagio for Strings

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