Mushroom Ragout with Polenta and Spinach (of Course)

This dish actually was not a ploy to make a dent in my 2½-pound bag of spinach, but that was a pleasant result. This mushroom ragout was just an initial embrace of cold-weather food. The earthiness of the mushrooms and polenta give an added warmth to an already hot dish, making it the perfect dinner to serve in a drafty old bungalow. If you’re a well-equipped cook, this is probably a pantry meal for you, which is an added bonus.

You can serve the ragout over pretty much anything—rice, beans, toasted baguette—but I loved it with polenta. Use coarse-ground yellow cornmeal and follow the package directions. Be sure to stir in plenty of butter and Parmesan at the end to make it nice and creamy.

Mushroom Ragout
Serves 2
olive oil
½ yellow onion, diced
½ pound fresh mushrooms, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of dried rosemary
1 Tbs. tomato paste
¾ cup vegetable stock
1 Tbs. butter
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
handful of chopped parsley

Heat about 1 Tbs. of oil in a skillet. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove the onion and set aside. Add some more oil to the pan and the mushrooms. Saute until they release their juices. Return the onion to the pan along with the garlic and rosemary. Continue cooking until the mushrooms and garlic begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and turn heat to high. Add the stock, bring to a boil, return heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Before serving, stir butter, vinegar, and parsley into the sauce.

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