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Laced with ribbons of hearty greens, Julia Sullivan’s savory garden tomato ragout pops with bright flavor, the perfect accompaniment to a canvas of creamy polenta. The polenta is cooked with milk for a comforting vegetarian main. Garlic and basil punch up this modern classic; it’s an easy addition to your weeknight rotation.

February 2021


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary test

45 mins




Make the polenta
  • Bring milk, 2 cups water, garlic, thyme, salt, and black pepper to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low; remove and discard garlic and thyme, and bring to a gentle simmer. Gradually add polenta in a slow stream, whisking constantly until thickened. Return to a gentle simmer over medium-low. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring and scraping bottom of pot often, until tender and creamy, 30 to 35 minutes.  

While polenta cooks, make the ragout
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high just until fragrant. Carefully add tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, until most of the tomatoes have burst and juices start to release, 8 to 10 minutes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes begin to stick to bottom of pan and sauce has thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add red wine, and cook, stirring occasionally, until a glossy sauce forms, about 10 minutes. Add greens, and cook, stirring constantly, until wilted, about 30 seconds. Stir in sliced basil and butter. Remove from heat, and stir in lemon juice. Season with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.  

  • Divide polenta evenly among bowls; top with ragout. Garnish servings with torn basil 

Make Ahead

Ragout can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator.