Creamy Polenta with Wild Mushroom Ragout

If you don't want to buy four different herbs for the polenta, you can use just one or two, keeping the overall amounts the same.

Slideshow:Delicious, Quick Side Dishes

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

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  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 pound chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and halved
  • 1/2 pound oyster mushrooms, trimmed and halved
  • 1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps thickly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup rich chicken stock (see Note)
  • 2 large thyme sprigs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup instant polenta (about 7 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large, deep skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add half of the shallots and garlic and all of the chanterelles and oyster mushrooms and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 6 minutes. Scrape the mushrooms onto a plate.

  2. In the same skillet, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the remaining shallots and garlic along with the shiitake mushrooms and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally until softened and golden, about 6 minutes. Return all of the mushrooms to the skillet, season with salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the rich chicken stock and thyme sprigs to the skillet and simmer for 5 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs.

  3. In a large saucepan, combine the milk, stock and butter and bring to a boil. Whisk in the polenta and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until thick, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the heavy cream, mascarpone, herbs and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Spoon the polenta onto plates, top with the mushroom ragout and serve right away, passing more grated Parmesan at the table.


Rich chicken stock is sold in the freezer section of many supermarkets.

Suggested Pairing

This rich dish calls for a red with good acidity, plus some earthiness to match the mushroom ragout. Try a Chianti Classico.

Contributed By Photo © Tina Rupp Published May 2004

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