I'm not gonna lie. All you have to do is give me a bowl of plain polenta and I'm a happy camper!
I grew up in a Cuban household and polenta for us was called harina de maiz. A bowl of it like this was plenty to satisfy me... and sometimes my mom would add a fried egg or two... but that's a recipe for another day. Right now it's time to talk mushrooms.
Press pause and enjoy this beautiful scene for a moment. Seriously when you mix up a bunch of mushrooms like these and chop them up, they almost have a meaty flavor.
And back to my Cuban roots, here's a form of sofrito- usually sautéed onions and garlic - with the added twist of carrots and a lot of mushrooms. I pick a variety including oyster, shiitake, cremini, portobello, king trumpet, porcini, chanterelles. Whatever is wild and fresh.
Thicken it up with tomato paste.
Add some canned diced tomatoes.
And top it off with fresh herbs. I always use rosemary, but fresh thyme is good too! If I can find culantro I'll use that. By the way, culantro is not easy to find. Not to be confused with cilantro, it's a staple in Cuban bean dishes. I actually have a culantro plant that loves summers in Chicago but lives indoors during the winter. I can't live without it!
While the mushroom ragu is simmering, begin on the polenta. So easy to make, just follow the package directions but try to find organic, GMO free high quality polenta. It really does taste better!
To top things off and make this the most delicious polenta ever, add freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Although it's filling, this dish will have you coming back for seconds every time!