I was inspired by this recipe from a memory of a restaurant I worked at as a server back in 91…many years ago….too many! There was a pasta dish there that had artichoke hearts and mushrooms in it with cream and it was very good. I did a party last weekend with an Italian theme so I came up with polenta wedges with artichoke & mushroom ragu served over the top and it was awesome.
Sometimes I just don’t know when or how I’m inspired when I’m designing menus for clients, I guess my memory still serves me well with dishes I used to serve many moons ago. In my opinion, polenta is the second Italian comfort food next to pasta. You can serve polenta so many ways, soft, in wedges, fried or baked in a casserole. I like the polenta wedges with this recipe, when it cools, the texture hardens like a cheese and it cuts very nicely and can be grilled, fried or baked before eating. One hint while making this recipe, cook the polenta first so it has time to cool while you’re making the ragu.
For the polenta
4 cups of water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup of instant polenta
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Bring water to a boil, add salt and slowly add the polenta, whisking while adding it to prevent clumping, reduce heat and continue stirring for approximately 5 minutes until really thick, stir in the butter and cheese until well combined.
- Pour out onto a nonstick sprayed cookie sheet or a 9X13 glass casserole, smooth out with spatula, and act quickly because this solidifies very fast.
- Set aside and let cool for one hour, while cooling make the artichoke & mushroom ragu
Artichoke & Mushroom Ragu
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
½ cup chardonnay
2 cups of chopped artichoke hearts, frozen, thawed
¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups of cream
Lemon zest and juice of 1 lemon
Parmesan cheese for serving
Cut chives for serving
- In a large pan over medium/high heat, add the olive oil, butter, onion & garlic and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Add the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes or until the mushroom have browned nicely
- Pour the wine over the mushrooms deglazing the pan, stirring around and making sure to get any browned bits that may have stuck on the bottom of the pan
- Add the artichoke hearts, pepper, salt, tarragon, thyme and cream and cook for 15 minutes or so until some of the liquid has reduced, add the zest and juice of the lemon.
- Cut the polenta into wedges, I cut it into triangles, heat some olive oil in a pan and warm up the polenta for a few minutes on each side over medium heat
- Arrange on a platter or individual plates and spoon the artichoke & mushroom ragu over that, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and chives and enjoy
- Serves 6
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Tags: Italian dinner recipes, polenta dinner recipes, polenta recipes, polenta wedges with artichoke & mushrooms, Polenta with artichoke & mushrooms
This post was written by Joseph Sciascia