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Polenta with Mixed Wild Mushrooms

Gennaro's creamy polenta dish is just what you want when it's miserable outside. Serve the Italian way - on a communal board in the centre of the table so everyone can dig in. Polenta is wheat-free, too.


  • For the mushroom sauce:

  • 10 tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped (optional)

  • 400g mixed mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

  • 1.5 glasses of vegetable stock

  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree

  • Handful of flat-leaved parsley, finely chopped

  • For the polenta:

  • 1 litre water

  • Salt

  • 200g quick-cook polenta

  • 50g butter

  • 15 parmesan shavings

  • 1 wooden board approximately 20 inches in diameter


  • 1.

    In a large pan, heat the olive oil, add the garlic and chilli and sweat. Add the chopped mushrooms and stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Add the stock, then stir in the tomato puree and cook for a further 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley and set aside.

  • 2.

    To make the polenta, put the water and some salt in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Gradually add the polenta, stirring all the time until it has all been amalgamated. Reduce the heat, as polenta does tend to bubble quite a bit, and beware of any lumps forming. It they do, just beat very energetically until the lumps have dissolved. Stir the polenta with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes until is starts to come away from the pan. Add the butter and mix well in. Remove from the heat and immediately pour on slightly oiled wooden board spreading it out with a wooden spatula. It should be about an inch thick. Top with the parmesan shavings and pour over the mushroom sauce.

  • 3.

    Place in the middle of the table and tuck in!

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