Mushroom Ragù with Parmesan Polenta

Mushroom Ragù with Cacio e Pepe Polenta
Mushroom Ragù with Parmesan Polenta

A simple vegetarian recipe that is substantial and flavorful is always welcomed, and with the amount of flavor mushrooms add, this is a true winner! This Mushroom Ragù with Parmesan Polenta is hearty, yet light enough to be enjoyed throughout the year!

Making the Mushroom Ragù

We absolutely love mushrooms! So making a ragù to serve over a rich and creamy Parmesan polenta has been on our list for a while. We have enjoyed versions of this while traveling through Italy and our version remains fairly true to what we have tasted in the motherland.

What type of mushrooms can I use?

As for the mushrooms, any will work well, so use what you have available and ones you really like. We prefer combinations of porcini and cremini or oyster mushrooms, clamshell, shiitake and portobellos.

Mushroom Ragù with Parmesan Polenta
We use a variety of our favorite mushrooms in this Mushroom Ragù

The more flavorful the mushrooms are to begin with, the better your dish will turn out! So don’t be afraid to try different varieties to figure out what you prefer. You really can’t go wrong here.

Parmesan Polenta

The added Parmesan and milk really help make the polenta creamy and flavorful, and it pairs perfectly with the rich and earthy flavors of the ragù.

Can I use quick/instant polenta in this recipe?

For polenta or grits, we prefer the regular version over the quick version. The instructions below are meant for the regular version of polenta only. And considering that the mushrooms cook for a while, there is no need to rush the polenta, which takes about 30 minutes on its own.

That being said, you can use instant polenta if you really want to. If you choose to use instant polenta, you will need to modify the cooking time and alter the recipe instructions quite significantly so that you don’t overcook it. Be sure you check the packaging so that you don’t make the mistake of buying the wrong polenta.

Mushroom Ragù with Parmesan Polenta
Mushroom Ragù with Parmesan Polenta


We hope you enjoy this recipe for Mushroom Ragù with Parmesan Polenta! If you give it a try, leave us a comment below or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!

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Mushroom Ragù with Parmesan Polenta

5 from 1 vote
Course: DinnerCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • For the Polenta
  • 2 2 ¼ cup vegetable stock

  • ¾ cup (120g) regular (not instant) polenta*

  • ½ tsp kosher salt

  • 3 Tbsp 3 unsalted butter

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 whole milk

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 grated Parmesan

  • 1 tsp 1 black pepper

  • For the Mushroom Ragù
  • 1 1 -pound fresh mushrooms – any kind you like

  • 4 Tbsp 4 unsalted butter – divided

  • 1 small 1 shallot – finely diced

  • ½ small onion – finely diced

  • 2 tsp 2 kosher salt

  • 1 tsp 1 black pepper

  • 1 Tbsp 1 fresh rosemary – finely chopped

  • 1 clove 1 garlic – minced

  • 1 Tbsp 1 tomato paste

  • ½ cup marsala wine

  • 2 cups 2 vegetable stock

  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan

  • 2 Tbsp 2 chopped parsley

  • Chopped parsley for garnish


  • Prepare the Ragù
  • Clean, trim, and slice the mushrooms.
  • Use a very large skillet and melt the butter over medium high heat. Once melted, turn the heat to medium-low and add the shallot and onion, stirring until they are coated. Cook for a few minutes.
  • Next, turn the heat to medium and add the mushrooms, salt, pepper, and rosemary. The mushrooms will absorb the liquid then release some liquid.
  • Cook the mushrooms for about 5-7 minutes, then turn to medium high and add the garlic, tomato paste, and marsala. Once the marsala is almost absorbed, add the stock. Cook and reduce until the liquid has thickened (approximately 45 minutes).
  • To finish, stir in the Parmesan and parsley and taste for seasoning. The ragù can be kept warm if it is finished before the polenta.
  • Make the Polenta
  • While the mushrooms cook, make the polenta.
  • Bring the stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Carefully and slowly stir in the polenta and salt and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook the polenta, stirring often so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. If it gets too thick, add some more warm stock or warm water (1/4 cup at a time) to thin it out. Cook until the polenta is soft, and the grains are at the doneness you prefer (approximately 20-30 minutes).
  • Once cooked, stir in the butter, milk, Parmesan, and pepper. Cook for a few minutes to incorporate everything and check for seasoning. Serve, topped with the mushroom ragù and fresh chopped parsley for garnish.


  • The instructions here are for regular polenta, NOT for instant polenta. If using instant polenta, you will need to adjust the cooking time and instructions based on the cook time on the packaging.

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