Mushroom Pancetta Ragu with Polenta
Mushroom Pancetta Ragu with Polenta is a hearty meal that can be ready in as little as 30 minutes. This recipe makes for a perfect meal when a quick weeknight dinner or some weekend comfort food is needed. Meaty mushrooms get a real flavor boost from a wonderful combination of pancetta, fresh herbs and red wine.
The heartiness and richness of the mushrooms, cooked in red wine and beef stock pairs perfectly with the creaminess that polenta is known for, which, in my opinion, is truly a winning combination.
You’ve probably seen the name spelled ragu or ragout, but what is the difference? Simply put, ragu is Italian and ragout is French. This recipe has more of an Italian flare than French one and is mushroom-based versus the traditional which are meat-based.
When it comes to herbs that pair well with mushrooms, I always choose either fresh rosemary or fresh sage. For this dish, I chose rosemary, which also makes for a complementary and delicious flavor with the added basil.
If you like the flavor combination of sage and mushrooms, you’ll love my Brown Butter Sage Mushroom Risotto recipe.
This is not a meat-free dish, however it can be. Simply leave out the pancetta and substitute the beef stock for vegetable stock. It’ll still make for a delicious meal.
If you’re a steak lover and want to take it to the next level, this ragu also makes a delicious steak topping for a truly restaurant-style vibe.
Considering how the flavors complement each other, the polenta does play a big part in this dish. As I mentioned, the creaminess of the polenta offsets the richness of the ragu but I also think it’s a texture thing too; velvety and smooth. If you’re not a polenta fan, you can easily substitute mashed potato or even cooked pasta.
Another great serving suggestion that turns an ordinary baked potato into something extraordinary is topping the potato with the mushrooms ragu. You can cook the potato in the microwave while you make the mushrooms. The cooking instructions for the potato are in my recipe for Microwave Baked Potato with Italian Sausage.
If you’ve made this Mushroom Pancetta Ragu with Polenta or any other recipe, please leave a comment below. I love to hear from my readers.