I shared a picture of this recipe for goat cheese polenta with mushroom ragu on instagram a few months back and got a ton of requests for the recipe, so figured I would be a nice human being and indulge y’all.
While regular ‘ole polenta makes a perfectly delicious side dish (and stand-in for lasagna noodles), my favorite way to eat polenta is as a main dish, served as a base for a hearty veggie-filled sauce. And we’ve obviously got to add some goat cheese because why not?
Side note here – is there anyone reading this is who very pro-polenta and anti-grits? Or visa-versa (although you’re probably not reading this post if that’s the case). I was having a conversation with my southern sister-in-law who moved to California and eats frequently with her other sister-in-law’s Italian family, and learned there are some strong polenta vs grits opinions, which I do not understand. They’re both ground cornmeal! Anyway, if you fall into this category, please explain your reasoning, because I just don’t get it.
For this recipe, I used DeLallo Instant Polenta so you can get this on the table in less than 30 minutes. I love the texture of stone ground cornmeal, it just takes much longer to cook. If you reheat leftovers, just add a little milk or water to thin it back down to a creamy consistency.
If you are one of those anti-polenta people who for some reason is still reading this post, you could also serve the mushroom ragu tossed with pasta. You could also leave out the chickpeas and serve it over my creamy chickpea mash (or leave the chickpeas in if you REALLY like chickpeas…and farting). It’s also tasty served with eggs simmered into it, shakshuka style, along with crusty bread.
Goat Cheese Polenta with Mushroom Chickpea Ragu
Serves about 4
Mushroom Chickpea Ragu:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 14-ounce can tomato sauce
1 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen peas
Goat Cheese Polenta:
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup instant polenta
3 ounces crumbled goat cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, rosemary and a large pinch of salt and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms have released their liquid and most of it has evaporated.
Pour in red wine, and scrape up any brown bits at the bottom. Cook until most of the wine has evaporated, then pour in the tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Stir in chickpeas and peas and cook until warmed through. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Keep warm while preparing polenta.
Bring broth, milk, and salt to a low boil. Gradually whisk in polenta and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about five minutes until thickened. Stir in goat cheese and olive oil.
Spoon polenta onto a plate, making a well in the middle with the back of a spoon. Spoon mushroom chickpea ragu into the center. Serve immediately.
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