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Native to northern Italy, this captivating and versatile entrée looks as good as it tastes. Hearty wild mushrooms and delicate artichoke hearts combine with savory Asiago cheese in this classic polenta dish. Makes a complete vegetarian meal when served with steamed beets and dark leafy greens. --courtesy of Whole Foods
- 6 cups water
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups polenta (instant-cooking, quick-cooking)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup asiago cheese (grated, or a blend of Asiago, Romano and Parmesan)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces mixed mushrooms (sliced)
- 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- ground pepper
- 1⁄3 cup pasta sauce (optional)
- Bring water and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Sprinkle polenta into boiling liquid while stirring with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue stirring 1 to 2 minutes or until water is completely absorbed and polenta is cooked. Stir in the butter and cheese.
- Spoon the mixture into an oiled 9x13-inch baking dish. Let polenta rest for 10 to 15 minutes to firm up while preparing the mushrooms and artichoke hearts.
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, artichoke hearts, salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have released their liquid, about 10 minutes. Stir in the pasta sauce if using.
- To serve, cut polenta into squares and top with mushroom mixture. Garnish with additional cheese or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, if desired.