Roasted Veggie Ragu and Creamy Cheesy Polenta

This is a dish I was only introduced to about 5 years ago. My sister-in-law invited us over for dinner and asked how we felt about roasted veggie ragu with creamy (and cheesy) polenta. I’d never had it before, but since her food is always wonderful, I knew it would be delicious.

When we got there, the house smelled absolutely amazing. She served up the roasted veggie ragu atop perfect polenta. While the adults savored every minute of dinner, the kids were slightly less than impressed. No matter. I needed the recipe.

This is a dinner that takes some time. We don’t make it often, although it is wonderful for a cold winter night. Knowing the kids didn’t care for it the first time, the next time we had it we put a small portion of the ragu in the blender with a little water, turning it into a smooth but flavorful sauce. We served it over pasta for the boys, and they loved it.

My kids aren’t a fan of the polenta at all. I know, it’s crazy, but I think in the future they will come to love it like I do. This last time we made it they ate the ragu off the top, with one of them even asking for more of the veggies.

What makes the ragu is the kalamata olives. They add a surprising something that would certainly be lacking if you left them out. The veggies, however, can certainly be adjusted based on your families tastes.

Veggie Ragu and Cheesy Polenta

Oh, and if you have leftover polenta – roll it into a log, wrap it in plastic wrap, fry 1/2 inch thick medallions in the morning and top with a poached or fried egg. Perfect way to start your day!

Roasted Veggie Ragu
Serves 8
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175 calories
22 g
0 g
9 g
6 g
1 g
568 g
640 g
11 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
568g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 175
Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 1g
6%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 640mg
27%
Total Carbohydrates 22g
7%
Dietary Fiber 6g
26%
Sugars 11g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A
20%
Vitamin C
85%
Calcium
11%
Iron
17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 small to medium zucchini
  2. 1 large eggplant
  3. 1 large sweet onion
  4. 1 large red bell pepper
  5. 3 large cloves of garlic
  6. 3 – 4 cups Crimini mushrooms
  7. 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  8. ¼ cup Sicilian oil cured olives (pitted)
  9. 1 32oz. can crushed tomatoes
  10. 1 32oz. Can whole fire roasted tomatoes
  11. ½ tsp ground fennel seed
  12. ½ tsp dried basil
  13. ½ tsp dried oregano
  14. 1 tsp salt
  15. 1 tsp pepper
  16. 1 Tbls sugar
  17. ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  18. 4 cups of water (approx.)
Instructions
  1. Chop all veggies (including olives) into approximately 1 inch cubes and place in a large roasting pan, sprinkle with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, drizzle with olive oil and roast at 400 for about 30 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven and drain off liquid given off by roasting veggies (reserve this liquid, you will add it in later).
  3. Turn the oven up to 500 and roast an additional 30 minutes – stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from oven and add herbs, sugar, reserved liquid, and tomatoes, stir well and place back in oven at 300. Roast for an additional 2 hours at 300 stirring in water 1 cup at a time, every 30 minutes or so.
  5. The Ragu should end up being thick and dark (not burned).
beta
calories
175
fat
9g
protein
6g
carbs
22g
more
Wine-y-Wife http://wine-y-wife.com/
Creamy, Cheesy Polenta
Serves 8
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532 calories
31 g
111 g
41 g
12 g
26 g
343 g
881 g
7 g
1 g
13 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
343g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 532
Calories from Fat 364
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 41g
64%
Saturated Fat 26g
128%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Cholesterol 111mg
37%
Sodium 881mg
37%
Total Carbohydrates 31g
10%
Dietary Fiber 2g
9%
Sugars 7g
Protein 12g
Vitamin A
29%
Vitamin C
1%
Calcium
33%
Iron
7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups polenta
  2. 4 cups of water
  3. 4 cups of 2% milk
  4. 2/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  5. ½ cup crème fraiche or sour cream
  6. 3 Tbls. Butter
  7. 2 tsp salt.
Instructions
  1. Bring water, milk, and butter to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Stir in salt and polenta. Stir for 3 – 4 minutes until the mixture is smooth and lump free and has started to thicken. Cover with a tilted lid, cook at a LOW simmer for 50 minutes – stirring every 10 minutes. I use a whisk at first to make sure nothing is sticking, then a spatula to fold and clean the sides of the pot. After the 50 minutes, add in the Parmesan and sour cream and continually fold with the spatula until incorporated.
Notes
  1. This recipe will easily feed 6 – 8 people.
beta
calories
532
fat
41g
protein
12g
carbs
31g
more
Wine-y-Wife http://wine-y-wife.com/

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