Sausage and Mushroom Ragout with Soft Polenta


Have fun with this recipe from Chef Joshna Maharaj! Make a big batch, and pour the polenta right on a clean table or cutting board… then everyone just tucks in to their little corner of the platter.

Sausage and Mushroom Ragout with Soft Polenta by Chef Joshna Maharaj


1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
2 sweet Italian sausages, cut out of casings and crumbled
1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, torn
1/2 lb oyster mushrooms, torn
to taste kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
to taste crushed dried red chilies
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp unsalted butter
for garnish chopped flat leaf parsley
2 cups chicken stock or water
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup quick cook polenta
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 tbsp unsalted butter
to taste kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Make Ragout: Soak porcini in 1½ cups of boiling water until softened. In a high-sided sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the sausage meat, cover and cook over moderate heat until fully cooked, about 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and set aside.

2. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet to medium high. Add the shiitake and the oyster mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook until lightly browned. Add the shallots, garlic and porcinis; cover and cook for 4 minutes.

3. Pour in the porcini soaking liquid and add dried chilies. Add the sausage meat and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper. Off the heat, swirl in the butter and sprinkle with parsley.

4. Make Polenta: Grate cheese and chop butter into large pieces, and set aside. Combine the stock, cream and a generous pinch of salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Slowly pour the polenta into the hot liquid, whisking briskly to prevent clumping. Reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking constantly, for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed (be careful about the volcanic explosions as this starts to boil!)

5. Add the cheese and butter, season with salt and pepper, stirring gently until incorporated.  Serve ragout over polenta with lots of cheese on top!

Yield: 6 servings


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