Mushroom Ragú with Creamy Polenta

Food

A new month means a new TASTY TUESDAY, and we’re thrilled to welcome one of our FAVE foodies,  to TDF once more (yes, we’ve already exploited her talents not once but TWICE for this column over the past couple of years!).

For this series, Julia will share four hearty, comforting Autumnal recipes with a mediterranean flavour, kicking off with her incredible creamy polenta and mushroom ragú.  What makes this series extra special are the beautiful handcrafted serving dishes Julia has selected to serve each dish – she’s paired up with her bestie, Melbourne ceramicist  to create a range of plates and bowls which perfectly complement this month’s menu. DREAM TEAM.

 

7th April, 2015

An amazing variety of Mushrooms! Recipe –  handmade plates by  Styling –  Photo – 

Mushroom Ragú with Creamy Polenta ingredients. Recipe – , handmade plates by  Styling –  Photo – 

Mushroom Ragú with Creamy Polenta ready to serve. Recipe – , handmade plates by  Styling –  Photo – 

Mushroom Ragú with Creamy Polenta. Recipe – , colourful handmade ceramics by , gold cutlery by Cutipol from .  Styling –  Photo – 

Julia Busuttil Nishimura of Ostro
Tuesday 7th April 2015

I love the noticeable changes in seasons, and none more so than the transition from Summer to Autumn. The leaves are turning the most amazing colours and the nights are just chilly enough to pull out my winter woollies. I also adore the food I am drawn to during these Autumnal months – slow-cooked braises, hearty soups and stews. For me, Autumn all about food that satisfies and comforts.

While many Italians, especially in the North, now see polenta as almost a national treasure, it had very humble beginnings. It was initially brought to Italy in the 16th century and was considered peasant food. It was a meal with a purpose – to fill the bellies of hungry Italians. Although still immensely filling, polenta now often takes centre stage on a table, poured onto large wooden boards and paired with rich stews, seafood or artisan salamis and richly flavoured with milk, cream, butter or parmesan. It is comfort food at its best!

I love cooking my polenta in both milk and water, to give it a really creamy texture. Some prefer stock, but I think it overpowers the delicate flavour of the polenta itself. Try and coerce someone else into stirring the polenta for you while you get on to the mushrooms! As it begins to thicken, the polenta stirring becomes an official workout and requires your undivided attention.

Note: Electric stovetop polenta mixers exist for a very good reason. Don’t worry though, polenta has been made for hundreds of years with just a pot and a spoon! You can do it! Also, if you can’t source a variety of different mushrooms for the ragú, the usual button mushrooms will still be amazing!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

For the polenta

750ml milk

250g polenta

80g parmesan, finely grated

50g unsalted butter

150ml thickened cream

For the mushrooms

80g unsalted butter

Extra virgin olive oil

1kg assorted mushrooms, such as chestnut, Swiss brown, button and oyster, brushed, trimmed and halved, sliced or left whole if small

4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

4 sprigs of thyme, extra to serve

80ml white wine

1 tbsp Italian parsley, roughly chopped (optional)

Method

In a large heavy pot, bring the milk and 750ml of water to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add 1tsp of salt and the polenta in a thin steady stream, whisking to prevent lumps.

Cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until polenta is smooth and silky. You may need to add a little extra water if polenta becomes too thick and hard to stir. Add the parmesan, butter and cream. Season to taste and keep warm. If the polenta cools too much, it will harden, so this is really important.

Meanwhile for the mushrooms, in a large pan, heat half the butter and a drizzle of olive oil. When butter is foaming, add the mushrooms and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme, and continue to cook until mushrooms are tender and garlic has softened.

Add the wine to the mushrooms and simmer for a few minutes until the liquid has reduced by half. Finish off the sauce by adding the remainder of the butter. Stir to combine.

To serve, pour the polenta on a wooden board and tumble the mushrooms on top. Sprinkle over the extra thyme leaves and chopped parsley, if using, and serve immediately.

Similar Stories

Food

Alice Zaslavsky's Chocolate-Stuffed Challah French Toast

The much-loved foodie whisks up a divine dessert, where challah (brioche) serves as the most opulent base!
Alice Zaslavsky

Food

Alice Zaslavsky's Beetroot + Horseradish Salad

Beetroot and horseradish were just destined to be together, as evidenced in this bright and flavourful vegetarian dish.
Alice Zaslavsky

Food

Alice Zaslavsky's Gefilte Fish Fritters

There’s no yiddishe dish that sparks more of a reaction than gefilte fish!
Alice Zaslavsky

This Week

45:53

Podcast

TDF Talks With Award-Winning Magazine Editor Justine Cullen

The mum-of-four reflects on her career, the state of the Australian fashion industry, and the future of magazine publishing.

On The Market

One Of Fitzroy’s Most Iconic Homes Is On The Market

Your chance to see inside (and maybe own!) the most intriguing house on the street!

Architecture

A House Revived From The 1990s

CO-AP Architects boldly re-imagine a 1990s semi-detached home in Balmain, Sydney.
Miriam McGarry
  12 hours ago

Interiors

Stand-Out Kitchens To Inspire

Kitchen ideas and inspiration from our interiors columnist, Lauren Li.
Lauren Li

Architecture

Grand Designs From The Small Island

Announcing the shortlist for the 2019 Tasmanian Architecture Awards.

Shopping

Doubling Down On Bedding With Milou Milou

Eco-luxe bedding created from re-purposed 'dead stock', in every colour you could dream of.
Miriam McGarry

News

A Month-Long Third Drawer Down x David Shrigley Pop-Up

This decade-long collaboration between Melbourne’s kookiest gift store and the renowned artist is open for business!
Sally Tabart

Architecture

A Sustainable Home, Designed To Connect To Community

The sunny and generous renovation of a California Bungalow in Northcote, by Gardiner Architects.
Miriam McGarry

News

Have You Ever Secretly Wondered…What IS Mid-Century Modern?

A visual guide to a celebrated era of design ‘From A To Eames’ by Lauren Whybrow and illustrations by Tom Jay.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

The Ultimate Heritage Restoration Project, On Remote Bruny Island

John Wardle Architects masterfully restore Captain James Kelly's 175-year-old cottage off Tasmania's South Coast.

Sustainability

These Australian-Made Blankets Close The Loop On Textile Industry Waste

Sustainable start-up Seljak turns textile offcuts bound for landfill into high-quality merino blankets, at the country’s last remaining wo...
Elle Murrell

Studio Visit

Exquisite Portraits And Still Life Paintings From Fiona O'Byrne

The landscape architect and painter shares her meticulously detailed portraits and still life works.
Miriam McGarry

Studio Visit

New Work From A Favourite Local Artist, Super-Charged With Colour + Pattern

Melbourne-based artist Gavin Brown opens a new exhibition of works today, inspired by the sights, flavours, and moods of travels through Asi...
Elle Murrell
  20 hours ago

In Print

A New Monograph Celebrating One Of Australia's Most Captivating Female Artists

As the new book series Mini Monographs hits shelves, we offer a look inside the first volume, honouring bold painter Del Kathryn Barton.
Sarah Darmody

News

A Unique New Line Of Meticulously Handwoven Bags

Introducing George – a limited collection of bags exploring the relationship between object, material, and human interaction.
Sally Tabart
  9 hours ago

Similar Stories

Food

Alice Zaslavsky's Chocolate-Stuffed Challah French Toast

The much-loved foodie whisks up a divine dessert, where challah (brioche) serves as the most opulent base!
Alice Zaslavsky

Food

Alice Zaslavsky's Beetroot + Horseradish Salad

Beetroot and horseradish were just destined to be together, as evidenced in this bright and flavourful vegetarian dish.
Alice Zaslavsky

Food

Alice Zaslavsky's Gefilte Fish Fritters

There’s no yiddishe dish that sparks more of a reaction than gefilte fish!
Alice Zaslavsky
создание интернет магазина в киеве