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Celebrating La Dolce Vita

Ragu di Funghi con Polenta

Ragu di Funghi con Polenta
Recipe Date:
29 May 2018
Serving Size:
Cook Time:
  • 800 g Swiss brown mushrooms (500g) and medium white (300g)
  • 1 Celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 Carrot (medium), finely chopped
  • 1 Brown onion (medium), finely chopped
  • 1 Punnet of cherry tomatoes, cut into half or quarters if large
  • 400 g Can of diced tomatoes
  • 300 ml Tomato passata and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 500 ml Vegetable stock
  • 150 ml 'La Biondina' Colombard white wine
  • 1 Garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 sprig of thyme and oregano, 1 bay leaf and 1 small bunch of parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1 good pinch of cinnamon and 1 pinch of chilli flakes
  • 300 g Instant /1 minute Polenta
  • 60 g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 50 g Butter
  • JOSEPH First Run Olive Oil

Finely dice the carrot, onion and celery. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half  or if they are large cut each into quarters. Slice the large swiss brown mushrooms and the small white mushrooms into 0.5cm slices and set aside.

In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a low heat and add the crushed garlic. When you start to smell the aroma of garlic, add the celery, onion and carrot and cook gently on a low to medium heat until it starts to soften.

While the celery, carrot and onion are cooking, heat a large frypan on a medium heat, add a drizzle of oil and cook the mushrooms in batches until they have a nice golden brown colour on each side.  Don’t crowd the pan with the mushrooms or else they won’t brown. Set them aside on a plate as you cook them until all done.

As you continue to cook the mushrooms, check on the carrot, celery and onion.  Once they are softened, turn up the heat slightly, add the white wine and cherry tomatoes with a good pinch of cinnamon and chilli. Cook for 5 mins.  Then turn the heat down to medium, add the mushrooms, can of tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato passata, vegetable stock, thyme, oregano and bay leaf.  Cover and cook for 30 mins or until the liquid is reduced by a third. Season the ragu with salt and pepper to taste.

In the last 10 mins of cooking time, prepare your quick polenta. Boil 600ml of water in a saucepan. Once boiled, add a teaspoon of salt and add the polenta in a slow stream. Whisk the polenta continuously until it thickens and becomes smooth (about 2-3 mins). If at any point your polenta becomes too thick, just add some water and keep stirring. It will become creamy again.  Add the grated parmesan cheese and butter and stir until melted.

Before serving the ragu, remove the stalks of the thyme and oregano and remove the bay leaf. Finely chop the parsley and stir into the ragu.

Serve the polenta in a bowl with ragu on top and finish with lashings of JOSEPH First Run Olive Oil drizzled over the dish. 

Buon Appetito!