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You can use Instant polenta if you wish. Just follow the directions on the back of the package, then stir in the Parm & Butter at the end. You only need 1/3 cup of the Mushroom soaking liquid, but please, save the remainder for something else. It can be frozen if you wish. Definitely a quick and easy way to add flavor.


  • Polenta:
  • 2 cups Vegetable Stock
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 cup Polenta
  • 2 TB Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup grated Parmegiano-Reggiano; Divided
  • Mushroom Ragú:
  • 1 oz Dried Porcini Mushrooms (1 pkg)
  • 10 oz Cremini Mushrooms (AKA: Italian Brown or “Baby Bellas”)
  • 6 oz Assorted Wild Mushrooms (Wood Ear, King Bolete, Lobster, King Oyster, Chanterelle, or more Cremini)
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • 1 Leek; chopped
  • 1 Shallot; chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves; minced
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 2 tsp Fresh Thyme; chopped
  • 2 tsp Fresh Oregano; chopped
  • 1/2 cup Flat-Leaf Parlsey, finely chopped
  • 1 TB Balsamic Vinegar


  • Bring Stock and Salt to a simmer and slowly sprinkle the Polenta over the surface, stirring constantly.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often, for 15-18 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in Butter and 3/4 cup of the Parmegiano-Reggiano.
  • Pour into a greased 9x9 square baking pan and smooth the mixture.
  • Refrigerate while making the Mushroom Ragú
  • Soak your porcini in 1 cup Boiling water for 10 minutes.
  • Drain them, but reserve 1/3 of the liquid for this recipe, and dry the mushrooms.
  • Thick slice the Creminis and coarsely chop the Wild Mushrooms. (multiple textures to the ragú)
  • Heat 1/3 cup of the oil in a sauté pan and add all the mushrooms.
  • Cook for 4-5 minutes then remove from pan and set aside.
  • Add the remaining oil to the pan and sauté shallot and leeks for 2 minutes.
  • Add the reserved mushroom soak liquid, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and oregano and bring everything back to a simmer (About 2 minutes)
  • Return the Mushroom mixture to the sauté pan along with Parsley and Balsamic Vinegar and continue cooking for another 2 minutes.
  • Add a pinch of salt (I like Alder Smoked) and remove the Bay leaf.
  • Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
  • Remove Polenta from refrigerator and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of grated Parmegiano-Reggiano.
  • Place pan under the broiler for about 10 minutes (until the cheese is melted and lightly browned)
  • Cut the Polenta slab into 4 pieces or strips whichever you desire, and serve Ragú over the top.

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