Mushroom Ragu

w/ creamy polenta

This deeply flavorful rustic sauce is made with cremini, shitake and baby portabella mushrooms.  It is rich in flavor from an abundance of different textures that create a hearty blend of aromatic mushroom flavors. The soft polenta is topped with the rich mushroom ragu and is particularly delicious when the tastes are blended together with each spoonful.  This dish not only tastes great, but is also made into a creamy dish of pure decadence from the layer of ragu sauce hidden underneath.

Ingredients: Yields 4-6 servings

Mushroom Ragu:

  • 1 lb. Cremini Mushrooms, de-stemmed
  • 1 lb. Shitake Mushrooms, de-stemmed & sliced
  • 1 Package of Sliced Baby Portobello Mushrooms
  • 2 tsp. All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ cup Dry White Wine, Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 c. Beef Stock
  • ½ A Onion, finely chopped
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

Creamy Polenta:

Adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s Creamy Polenta Recipe

  • 4 cups water, plus more as needed
  • 4 cups milk, plus more as needed
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups polenta
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano


  1. Make the Creamy Polenta: In a large saucepan, bring the water, milk and butter to a boil. Add 2 teaspoons of salt to the water and whisk in the polenta. Whisk constantly for 3 to 4 minutes to prevent lumps. Simmer for 45 minutes, partially covered and stirring every 10 minutes, until the polenta is thick, smooth, and creamy. Add the creme fraiche and Parmesan. Check for seasoning and adjust consistency by adding milk or water to the polenta. Polenta may be made up to 20 minutes ahead of time and kept covered until ready to serve.
  2. While the Poletna is cooking, make the Mushroom Ragu: Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet or a wide saucepan and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir together for about 30 seconds, until fragrant, then add the fresh mushrooms, rosemary and thyme, and turn up the heat slightly.
  3. Cook until the mushrooms begin to sweat, then add a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Stir for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat as the mushrooms continue to soften and sweat. Add the flour and continue to cook the mushrooms, stirring, until they have softened a little more and you can no longer see the flour, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, beef stock, and then turn the heat to high. Cook, stirring, until the liquid boils down and glazes the mushrooms, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add more salt to taste, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the mushrooms are thoroughly tender and fragrant and the surrounding broth is thick, about 10 to 15 minutes. Turn stovetop heat down to low, stir in some more freshly ground pepper, taste and adjust salt.
  5. Serve by scooping the polenta into a dish and then adding the mushroom ragu over the top.  Garnish with some finely cut parsley and Parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!
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