Hello again! Yep, it’s another Italian dish! I know…I simply can’t help it. It’s my Italian-ness calling again! To me, this one is really special and I’ll tell you why.
As a kid I would simply love Saturday lunch. It was the day to clean the house (not so fun…) but at midday everything would stop and my mother would make one of my favourite dishes ever. Polenta!
A typical dish from Northern Italy that I grew up eating and loving. It’s a warm creamy & corny (in the literal sense of the word) staple in my family and in many other Italian homes. There are several ways of cooking it and once you make the first batch of ‘runny’ polenta, you can use the remainder for other dishes, like ‘fried polenta’ or ‘grilled polenta’. Oh dear… I can’t even think about all those dishes. It’s too much deliciousness for me to deal with. Ohhh and how I miss it!
This dish also reminds me dearly of my grandmother (or nonna for all the Italian kids out there). When I’d head to my nonna’s house in the countryside of south of Brazil, she would wait for me with one of 3 dishes: her specialty Veggie Pasta (seriously the best), her Cappelletti soup or Polenta. And, as all grandmas, she always knew how to treat me. Sometimes, she’d even make it all of them in the same day! Oh boy, I was a lucky kid.
Anyways, after all of that, you get that this particular dish is quite a walk down memory lane for me right? And these are the types of dishes that encourage me to keep cooking and sharing the food I love.
So every time I make this, is indeed a happy day. A day I’ll be remembering all the love and care that my nonna and mamma used to have when preparing our meals. Truly, cooking is an act of love.
And I love being able to share this dish with you because not only I love this one, my boyfriend loves it too even though he doesn’t share the same memories as myself. So, I guess this is a good indicator of the goodness of the plate, right? (I hope so!)
Alright, but back to business, the sauce I made to complement my polenta wasn’t the classic my mom used to make. She would usually make a Brazilian fried chicken with burnt sage (which I have to admit I miss very much) however, as chicken is not in my menu anymore, I only had one vegetable to turn to: mushrooms.
Yes, I’m addicted to them and I’m pretty sure you already noticed that. All their heartiness really makes the perfect match to the creaminess of the polenta and the two combine their complimentary flavours beautifully. To give it a special taste, I added some porcine and boom! Flavour galore right there.
AND, I also used a secret ingredient to add an extra punch.
Truffle oil. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone.
Polenta is a great and super versatile dish that is specially good in winter. It will warm up your soul.
This dish is hearty, filling and packed with big flavours. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
- 1 cup of Polenta
- 4 cups of water
- 6 medium button Mushrooms
- 40g of Porcini
- 3 cloves of Garlic
- Olive Oil
- Sage powder (or leaves) and oregano
- ½ teaspoon of Truffle oil
- Soak the porcini mushrooms in 1 cup of hot water.
- In a large pot, bring the water to a brisk boil over medium-high heat.
- Slowly add the polenta in a thin steady stream, whisking constantly until all the polenta is incorporated into the water.
- Continue whisking until polenta has thickened for 5-10 minutes. Season with salt to your taste.
- Bring the heat down and cook the polenta for another 20-30 minutes with a lid half way open.
- Meanwhile, remove the porcini mushrooms from the water but don't throw that away.
- Chop them and keep them aside.
- Also chop the Button mushrooms.
- Chop the garlic finely and add to a large frying pan with olive oil.
- Sauté the garlic until lightly brown, add the mushroom and cook for 2-5 minutes until soft and a bit caramelised.
- Add the porcini mushrooms and stir.
- Now, season with salt and pepper.
- Add the sage and oregano to your taste.
- To create the sauce, add the porcini water and stir until all is incorporated.
- Now back to the polenta, check if it's cooked and creamy. If so, turn off the heat and serve immediately. Add the sauce on top and grate some parmesan on top or use nutritional yeast for a vegan option.
Peace and love,