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Creamy polenta is topped with a wild mushroom that’s ragú cooked up in an herbed red wine tomato sauce to make this irresistible vegan bowl of coziness! The perfect meal for a chilly fall evening.
My mom’s side of the family is Italian. I went vegetarian at thirteen. This could be really good or really bad. On a good day growing up, there were personal lasagnas loaded with veggies, or even my very own batch of eggplant meatballs. On a bad day, it meant the meatballs (and not the eggplant kind) were cooked in the sauce, and me dining on plain noodles.
I recently was given a review copy of Fresh Italian Cooking for the New Generation by Alexandra Caspero Lenz of the blog Delish Knowledge. Upon cracking it open, my first thought was this: if only I could travel back in time and hand my thirteen year old self a copy of this, a lot of dinnertime woes could’ve been avoided.
Okay, so I’ve actually been sitting on this book, and this particular recipe from the book, for a month or so, not because I wasn’t excited to share it, but because the mushroom ragú is serious comfort food, and I wasn’t sure you guys would be up for that in the middle of August. While there are plenty of recipes that are totally doable for summertime dinners (check out Balsamic and Basil Pasta Salad, Rainbow Peppers with Capellini, or Mediterranean Zucchini Linguine if we hit a few more hot days), I couldn’t resist the idea of juicy wild mushroom sauce over a cozy bed of polenta, regardless of the weather. My instinct was right, because this dish was killer.
Everything in the book sounds good to me though. Italian food has so much potential when it comes to plant-based eating, and Alex makes the most of that potential, swapping out meat for healthy ingredients that totally make sense and are way delicious (like mushrooms!). The book has 100 recipes, all vegetarian, and all much healthier than anything I ate growing up (even after going veg). Of those 100 recipes, over 70 are vegan or include vegan modifications, which are generally as simple as using vegan Parmesan cheese or cashew cream, both of which have recipes conveniently provided towards the back of the book.
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Wild Mushroom Ragú with Creamy Polenta
Creamy polenta is topped with a wild mushroom ragú that’s cooked up in an herbed red wine tomato sauce to make this irresistible vegan bowl of coziness! The perfect meal for a chilly fall evening. CourseEntree CuisineAmerican, Italian Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 25 minutes Total Time 30 minutes Servings 4 Calories 516 kcal
Wild Mushroom Ragú
- ⅓cup80 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 4cups280 g mixed wild mushrooms, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1tspdried rosemary
- 1tspdried oregano
- ½cup120 ml tomato sauce
- ¼cup60 ml red wine
- ½cup120 ml vegetable broth
- 1tbsp15 g non-dairy butter
- ⅛cup15 g fresh parsley leaves, chopped
- 1cup240 ml vegetable broth
- 3cups709 ml soy milk
- 1cup170 g cornmeal
- 3tbsp40 g non-dairy butter
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes until reduced and caramelized, stirring only a few times. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add garlic, shallot, rosemary and oregano, and cook for 5 more minutes. Add tomato sauce and red wine, stir and cook an additional 5 minutes more while you prepare the polenta.
- In a separate saucepan, heat the broth and milk over medium heat. When bubbles start to surface, gently whisk in cornmeal and stir together. Reduce heat to low and let cook until thick, stirring often, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in non-dairy butter and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
- While the polenta is simmering, finish the ragú. Add the vegetable broth to the mushroom sauce, reduce heat to low and simmer until polenta is done cooking. Remove the ragú from heat and whisk in 1 tablespoon (15 g) butter. Garnish with parsley.
Nutrition FactsWild Mushroom Ragú with Creamy PolentaAmount Per ServingCalories 516Calories from Fat 301% Daily Value*Fat 33.4g51%Saturated Fat 5g25%Sodium 692mg29%Potassium 785mg22%Carbohydrates 42.5g14%Fiber 4.9g20%Sugar 10.5g12%Protein 13.5g27%Calcium 60mg6%Iron 5.4mg30%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.« Vegan Pumpkin PancakesVegan Eggplant Moussaka »