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Polenta with Wild Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 7 cups water
  • 2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 2 cups Italian polenta
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus
      2 Tbs. butter
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
      cheese
  • 3/4 lb. assorted wild mushrooms, cut into
      1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup Madeira
  • 2 cups unsalted chicken broth
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a polenta pot or other large pot over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the 2 tsp. salt. Stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, add the polenta in a thin, steady stream until incorporated. Continue stirring to prevent lumps from forming. Reduce the heat so the mixture bubbles occasionally. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan, until the polenta is thick and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, 35 to 40 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the 4 Tbs. butter, a few cubes at a time, then stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese. Keep warm over very low heat.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the 2 Tbs. butter. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the Madeira and cook, stirring, until the liquid has almost evaporated. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide the polenta among 4 to 6 warmed bowls. Spoon the mushrooms and broth around the polenta and serve immediately with the remaining cheese.
Serves 4 to 6.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.