Rosemary polenta with mushroom ragù
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A hearty starter with fragrant herbs and a gutsy mushroom ragu. Wonderful any time of year! Amounts serve 8 in good thick slices.
Recipe type: Light lunch, supper, starter
Cuisine: Italian style
Serves: 8
  • Amounts serve 8 in good thick slices.
  • 250g polenta (quick-cook)
  • 500ml water
  • three sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped finely
  • pinch of salt & twist of fresh-ground black pepper
  • Mushroom Ragù
  • 3 good handfuls of mushrooms – field, brown-cap or regular white
  • 2 knobs of unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp sundried tomatoes, puréed up or finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp red wine or Port
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • fresh thyme sprigs
  • Fresh-ground black pepper & sea salt
  1. Line a shallow flan dish (around 3cm deep and 20cm diameter) or metal baking tray with baking parchment (as in photos). You can cut and lift out slices easily if you line the dish. Check your packet of polenta for instructions, but the volumes in my ingredient list should work for a setting consistency. Adjust with more or less water according to your needs. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Sprinkle in the polenta along with the chopped rosemary, stirring all the time. My polenta recommended 3 minutes stirring to cook it. When cooked (check it’s not still gritty), remove from heat and pour into the lined dish. Allow to set a little then keep warm, loosely covered with foil (in a very low oven if you wish).
  2. While the polenta sets, dab clean and slice the mushrooms. In a heavy-based frying pan melt a couple of knobs of butter. Add the mushrooms, tossing to coat. When cooked down a little, add all the other ingredients except the thyme and allow to cook for 5-10 minutes until the mushroom are soft, but not disintegrated and the liquid has reduced to a thick sauce. Remove from heat, toss in the fresh thyme.
  3. Serve the polenta in slices topped with the mushrooms and grated Parmesan. Garnish with more thyme and/or rosemary. This is an ideal lunch or light supper dish and perfect as a starter, if served in small slices.
  4. Tip: Make this with half porcini mushroom if you like too (thanks Juniper for the tip!). Just soak the porcini in boiling water for 20 minutes, drain and rinse to remove any gritty bits. Then chop finely and add along with the regular mushrooms early stage in the recipe.
Recipe by The Red Bistro at