My experiences with eating polenta in restaurants have been underwhelming. Generally, the taste is too bland and missing really good texture and rich taste. This Creamy Mushroom Carbonara was influenced by my experience with making really great grits and Carbonara pasta. The collaboration of these two ideas yielded the most creamy and flavorful polenta dish.
The hearty meat like texture of the portobello mushrooms coupled with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and egg had everyones tongues doing summersaults. Mission accomplished – I now love polenta. This dish can be served on its own or add shrimps or chicken. However you serve this delicacy, it will be excellent. Enjoy.
Notes: This recipe is flexible – you can use cremini mushrooms or even asparagus. Don’t precook the asparagus – add it as the polenta starts to thicken. I love the flavor of fresh thyme so I use it in many of my recipes – you can use your favorite fresh herbs. You can use vegetable broth. This recipe complemented my Chicken Tenders Scampi perfectly.
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Creamy Mushroom Carbonara Polenta
A very rich creamy and delicious side dish or main course.
- 4 large portobello mushroom caps cleaned and sliced or diced
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 shallot diced
- 1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 4 cups chicken broth organic low sodium
- 1 cup polenta quick cook style
- 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
In a heavy bottom Dutch Oven pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat.
Add the mushrooms and black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Mushrooms will reduce to less than 1/2. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt – stir. Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Reduce heat to medium. Add shallots and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and sauté for about 1 minute until fragrant.
Add wine. Cook until reduced to half. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
While waiting for the broth to boil, in a small bowl, combine the beaten eggs and parmesan cheese. Set aside.
Add polenta and 1 teaspoon salt. Use a whisk to mix constantly to prevent lumps. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking for 2 more minutes – whisk or use a spoon. Add the butter if using. Whisk until incorporated.
Turn off the heat. Add the egg and cheese mixture and mix to thoroughly combine.
Plate, Serve and Enjoy.
Note: I served this with my Chicken Tenders Scampi.
If using regular cornmeal/polenta instead of instant cook time will be up to 30 minutes (and remember to stir frequently to prevent lumps.