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Baked Polenta with Wild Mushroom Ragu

This recipe is courtesy of Barbara Lynch a very special friend and 2003 James Beard Award Winner for Best Chef in the Northeast.

For the Polenta:
1 Cup Marino Coarse Organic Yellow Cornmeal
4 cups water
1/4 cup unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream (optional)

For the Wild Mushroom Ragu:
You may use any combination of wild mushrooms you like. At No 9 Park, I use the folowing:
1 1/2 – 2 lbs total, cleaned and chopped:
oyster mushrooms
portobello mushrooms
chanterelles
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (try Organic Taibi Biancolilla for this recipe)
4 peeled and chopped shallots
1 garlic clove chopped
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup good quality red wine
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bring pot of salted water to a boil, whisk in cornmeal and leave alone on very low heat about an hour. Stir in butter, salt & pepper and heavy cream if using. When done, remove from heat and pour into an oven-proof baking dish.

In the meantime, in a large sauté pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and add the shallots and garlic, cook 3 minutes and add the chopped mushrooms, fresh thyme, salt and pepper, sauté about 7 minutes, turning occasionally.

When all the water has been cooked out of the mushrooms add the red wine and reduce, then add the chicken stock and butter and cook another 5-6 minutes. When the mushroom ragu is done, pour on top of the polenta and bake in the oven approximately 15 minutes. Before serving, sprinkle the top with the freshly grated or shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Serves 4

Creamy White Polenta with Roasted Portobello Mushrooms, Truffle Oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano

From Barbara Lynch of No. 9 Park, in Boston. Our dear friend and world renowned chef offers her recipe for Marino Felice Polenta. 7 cups water 2 cups Mulino Marino Felice Fine Cornmeal (polenta) 1 cup heavy cream 3 tbsp butter 3 tbsp grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Kosher salt and pepper to taste In a large saucepan, bring Continue Reading »

Northern Regions September 2006

Coming in from Austria, the train took us straight to Bolzano, one of the largest cities in the Alto Adige region of Italy. We approached the city along the infamous Strada di Dolomiti that winds its way for miles through the Dolomites. In the valleys apples are grown but we were looking for steep, south-facing Continue Reading »