Historic Smithton Inn All-Time Favorite Recipes: Mushroom Ragu Polenta

September 9, 2015

At the Historic Smithton Inn, we’ve been getting more requests for vegan breakfast options, so we’ve
been building up our repertoire of delicious, hearty recipes that fit the bill. This mushroom ragu polenta recipe works for vegetarian and vegan guests—and for those following gluten-free diets. 

Mushroom Ragu

What you’ll need:

  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (or 3 to 4 shallots), finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed to a pulp with a little sea salt
  • 2 pounds mushrooms (portabella, baby bella, shitake, oyster), thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon almond flour (or other gluten free version)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup dry red wine (alternatively Sherry, Marsala, or Madeira)
  • 2 cups mushroom broth (from reconstituted porcinis)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

How To Make It:

1. Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in 2 cups of boiling water for 20 to 30 minutes.

2. Strain, removing as much liquid as possible. Set the mushroom broth aside. Roughly chop the porcini mushrooms.

3. Heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook about 5 minutes, until tender and lightly browned.

4. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds.

5. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the sliced mushrooms, a large pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. Stir in the flour to combine, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for another minute.

7. Add the dried mushrooms, rosemary, thyme, and red pepper flakes.

8. Add the wine, raise the heat to high, and cook 5 minutes, scraping the bits of mushroom and onion from the bottom of the pan.

9. Add 1 cup of mushroom stock and continue to cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, adding more broth (or water) as needed, scraping any bits that stick to the bottom.

10. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

(Adapted from Wild Greens and Sardines)


What You’ll Need:

  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (regular or light)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable boullion
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herb blend
  • 1 1/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free / Organic Polenta (corn meal)

How To Make It:

1. In a medium saucepan combine water, coconut milk, olive oil, salt and herb blend. Bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat to a simmer and slowly whisk in the cornmeal.

3. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture is smooth, tender, and creamy, about 15-18 minutes.

(Adapted from Tori Avey)

I hope you’ll enjoy this mushroom polenta recipe. It’s an excellent addition to any vegan or vegetarian meal or perfect as a meal in and of itself. Give it a try!

By Rebecca Gallagher

Image courtesy of winnond at FreeDigitalPhotos.net