Italian Polenta with Mushroom Sauce

Polenta has always been my favourite quick-fix meal that only takes a couple of minutes to prepare and provides endless options when serving. It really goes perfectly with sour cream, different types of cheese, melted butter, fresh vegetables, or even ground meat. This recipe, however, uses a delicious mushroom sauce as a creamy topping for this healthy delicacy.

Sprinkle with some fresh thyme or parsley, and enjoy!


  • 2 cups instant polenta

For the mushroom sauce:

  • 20gm dried mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • Black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 kg button or chestnut mushrooms (a mixture of the two, thickly sliced)


To garnish: Chopped fresh parsley and springs of fresh thyme

Put the dried mushrooms into a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soak for thirty minutes.

Dry fry the garlic, then add the fresh mushrooms and continue stir frying for ten minutes or until wilted. Strain the soaking liquid off the fried mushrooms and add ¼ cup to the cooked mushrooms. Roughly chop the dehydrated mushrooms and add to the pan with the tomato paste, thyme and vinegar. Season to taste and simmer for twenty minutes to make a thick, richly flavored sauce.

Meanwhile, put the polenta into large saucepan and pour in six cups of water, whisking continuously to prevent any lumps. Bring the mixture to the boil, then simmer for ten minutes, stirring frequently until firm but not stiff.

Arrange spoonfuls of the polenta on individual plates, spoon the mushroom sauce alongside and garnish with parsley and thyme.

Serves 4.

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