Dinner Tonight: Polenta with Mushroom Ragu Recipe

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Dinner Tonight: Polenta with Mushroom Ragu Recipe

This may look like a mess, but I promise it all works out in the end. After last week's adventure with polenta I couldn't wait to get back in. It was such a brilliant base for the flavors of the kale that I had this crazy idea about making a red sauce loaded with mushrooms—sort of like a vegetarian ragu. Or at least that's what I thought.

Problem was, I couldn't find an all-encompassing recipe that I liked. Most recipes for the mushroom ragu involved pouring it over grilled polenta, which I didn't feel like doing. So I cobbled together a few different sources and created this dish of polenta with mushroom ragu. The directions for the polenta came from my previous recipe and I found the ragu recipe at How Stuff Works, assuming it would be fine over the polenta. In my version of the recipe I used oyster mushrooms that I snagged from the Korean Market. They have a much different texture than cremini or button, but either would work.

Though it's not exactly authentic, it ended up working out. It's a rich, satisfying main that's not too heavy.


  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 pound oyster mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 14-ounce can tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. 1.

    Pour the milk and water into a medium-sized pot. Bring to a simmer and then slowly whisk in the polenta. Simmer over medium-low for 20 minutes until the mixture is thick.

  2. 2.

    Meanwhile, pour the oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook until the mushrooms are tender, about 4 minutes. Dump in the tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. 3.

    Add the butter and Parmesan to the polenta, stir well, and turn off the heat.

  4. 4.

    Scoop some polenta into a bowl and then spoon over some of the mushroom ragu.