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By: Chef Laura Bonicelli

Polenta Cakes with Cherry Tomato Mushroom Ragu is a perfect recipe for those who love to have a delicious, hearty meal that is also elegant and comforting. The combination of the crispy outside and creamy inside of the polenta cakes and the full flavors of the Cherry Tomato Mushroom Ragu makes it an irresistible dish.


about Polenta Cakes with Cherry Tomato Mushroom Ragu


Polenta is a traditional Italian dish made from cornmeal. It has been a staple food in northern Italy for centuries and is still popular today. Polenta can be served as a creamy porridge or allowed to set and then sliced, grilled, or fried to make crispy cakes.

Polenta is also a versatile dish that can be served as a side dish or used as a base for various toppings. It is often paired with tomato-based sauces, such as the Cherry Tomato Mushroom Ragu in this recipe, which adds depth and richness to the dish.

The Polenta Cakes with Cherry Tomato Mushroom Ragu recipe is easy to make and requires only a few ingredients and a little time. The polenta is cooked and then allowed to set in a ramekin, then pan-fried to create a crispy crust. The Cherry Tomato Mushroom Ragu becomes thick and hearty, making it the perfect topping for polenta cakes.

What makes this recipe truly special is the texture of the polenta cakes. The crispy outside and creamy inside create an excellent contrast of textures, while the heartiness of the Cherry Tomato Mushroom Ragu complements the soft polenta cakes perfectly.

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cherry tomatoes
Sliced Mushrooms
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Step by Step Instructions

Polenta Cakes

Polenta Cakes with Cherry Tomato Mushroom Ragu

© Chef Laura Bonicelli
Crispy Cakes with a hearty, flavorful sauce.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Dish - Vegetarian, MM-Blue
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4
Calories 348 kcal


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast I prefer the Braggs band
  • 1 clove garlic grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms


  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes


  • 3 tablespoons finely minced red onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 clove garlic grated


  • 1/4 cup unsalted vegetable stock or chicken
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt


  • 2 cups brussels sprouts quartered lengthwise


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


  • Parmesan Reggiano for shaving


  • Bring water and milk to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in polenta, nutritional yeast, garlic, and salt. Cook, constantly whisking, until the mixture thickens and begins pulling away from the pan's sides, about 5 minutes.
  • Spoon the polenta into ramekins coated with canola cooking spray. Cool for five minutes and freeze the ramekins for 45 minutes until set.
  • While the polenta is in the freezer, heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until sizzling. Add the mushrooms. Cook, undisturbed, until bottoms brown, about 4 minutes. Continue to cook, occasionally stirring, until tender and browned—about 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium.
  • Add the red onion, thyme, and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for an additional minute. Stir in the vegetable broth, vinegar, butter, and sprouts. Cook for 1 minute, stirring. Remove from heat and set aside. Do not cover.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high, swirling to coat. Add the polenta cakes and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 4 minutes per side. Spin the cakes by quarter turns every minute to help with even browning. In the last 2 minutes of cooking the cakes, bring Ragu up to a simmer, stirring. Place the cooked cakes on plates; top with the ragu. Garnish with shaved Parmesan and serve.



Calories: 348kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 11gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 981mgPotassium: 658mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 992IUVitamin C: 48mgCalcium: 112mgIron: 2mg
Keyword red onion
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