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Polenta with Vegetable Ragout

Polenta with Vegetable Ragout
Quick-cooking polenta is available in most well-stocked markets. If you cannot find it, use regular polenta and cook it for 25 to 30 minutes, or use cornmeal and cook it for 15 to 20 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 3/4 lb. mixed wild and cultivated fresh mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 1/2 lb. plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup Marsala, sherry or other fortified wine
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions:

Cook the vegetable ragout
In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm 3 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, zucchini and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, rosemary, Marsala, 1/2 tsp. of the salt and the pepper. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes release their juices and are softened, 3 to 4 minutes.

Prepare the polenta
Meanwhile, in a saucepan over high heat, bring the broth to a boil. Whisk in the polenta and the remaining 1 tsp. salt. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the polenta is thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and the cheese.

Spoon the polenta into shallow bowls, top with the ragout and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Weeknight, by Melanie Barnard (Oxmoor House, 2006).