November 17, 2009

White Bean and Mushroom Ragout with Polenta

I was in a baking and cooking lull for a while, but I'm back in the game, baby! Last night I hit the gym for a training session (my 30th birthday gift to myself) and one hour of kick-my-ass-leave-me-limping spin class. I love it. After a tough workout, I needed something hearty, but not heavy.

My sister-in-law lent me her Moosewood Cookbook and I have marked almost every recipe as "must try NOW!" Last night's ragout was a delicious combination of vegetables and spices, and it tasted great on top of the polenta. Overall, it's a quick recipe to throw together and good for a cold night. Enjoy!

adapted from Moosewood, my changes in italics

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (cooking spray)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme or rosemary (1/2 tsp each)
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds (whole)
10-16 ounces moonlight or cremini mushrooms (baby bellas)
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 15 ounce can of cannellini beans, drained
1 28 ounce can can of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
polenta (see below)
grated Parmesan cheese (optional, and I used mozzarella)

4 cups water
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 TBS olive oil or butter (Smart Balance)

In a saucepan on medium heat, warm the oil and add the onions, garlic, herbs, and fennel. Sprinkle lightly with salt, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are softened and starting to brown.

While the onions cook, rinse and quarter the mushrooms (about 3 cups).When the onions are soft, stir in the mushrooms and wine, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in the beans, tomatoes, and parsley. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, until hot and juicy, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.

While it's simmering, make the polenta: Boil water and salt together. Once they reach a rolling boil, slowly pour in the cornmeal, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Turn heat to low and stir for another 3-5 minutes until it's thickened. Remove from heat and stir in butter/oil.

Serve the ragout on polenta and sprinkle with cheese if you like.


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This looks great. I wish I could convince my husband to enjoy mushrooms as much as I do