- 2 T garlic, crushed
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- olive oil, for frying
- 800 g mixed mushrooms
- 10 g thyme
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 x 400 g can chopped tomatoes
- 1–2 T tomato paste
- For the polenta:
- 4½ cups boiling water
- 2 T butter
- 120 g polenta
- sea salt, to taste
- 100 g Cremezola
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place the garlic, shallots, carrots and celery in a blender and pulse to make a paste-like mixture.
Gently fry the paste in 2–3 T olive oil in a large saucepan over a low heat for 5 minutes until slightly caramelised. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Place half the mushrooms in a blender and pulse until roughly chopped, then place in the same pan with a little more olive oil, half the thyme and season to taste. Fry over a high heat until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Blend the remaining raw mushrooms finely and fry in the same pan with another 1–2 T olive oil, more seasoning and the remaining herbs. When golden brown, add the veggie paste and fry for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and simmer for 30 minutes.
To make the polenta, pour the water into a large ovenproof dish. Add the butter and mix until melted. Add the polenta, whisking to prevent lumps, and season with salt. Once the polenta is fully incorporated, bake for 25–30 minutes, crumbling over the Cremezola for the last 10 minutes of cooking time.
Mix the mushrooms and serve with the polenta.
Cook's note: For a vegan dish, simply omit the butter and Cremezola from the polenta.