Mushroom and Tomato Ragout (Ragu)

Tomato Ragout (pronounced Ra-goo) is a chunky sauce made with tomatoes and mushrooms. So easy to make and delicious too. Perfect on Italian foods like polenta or pasta

So I was in a massive rush, and my refrigerator had been emptied of all my cooked-and-ready-to-go rice and beans (due to us porking out on them all week). But I found a roll of polenta in my cupboard!

Polenta is best made fresh, but these little rolls of polenta really do the trick if you don't have time to spend stirring your polenta while it cooks, which can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours! Plus, these little packages are pretty darned close to the real thing in terms of whole foods, so here's one pre-packaged food I'll use occasionally.

Here's what these pre-packaged polenta rolls look like, and you can find it in most natural foods stores -- and some mainstream groceries these days. Yay! (I've recently discovered the official name of these rolls are Chubs -- tee-hee)...

By the way, ALWAYS buy organic polenta (and other corn products) because non-organic corn is almost always grown with GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms) which are basically Frankenfoods and very scary!

I have traditionally made creamy tomato-based sauces to top my polenta, but wanted to do something chunky this time.

Since I had both tomatoes and mushrooms on hand, I decided to make a ragout/ragu.

Begin by sautéing a couple cloves of garlic and an onion in 1/4 cup vegetable broth. Next, add some de-stemmed and chopped cremini mushrooms (use your fave mushrooms here), and Italian herbs like oregano and basil.

I like to add wine to my Italian sauces because it adds such a delectable flavor, so pour in about 1/4 cup of white wine. (If you don't want to use alcohol, use veggie broth.)

After simmering that together for a few minutes, add 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of diced tomatoes. And what the heck (I thought), how about 1/4 cup more wine? It couldn't hoyt!   :O)

Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. You can simmer covered or uncovered -- covered will make a more "wet" sauce, and uncovered will make it more dry and chunky due to evaporation.

Slice your polenta into 1/2" rounds and add to a hot pan with a little swipe of olive oil until they're warmed through. Lay the rounds decoratively on serving plates. Cover with your Vegan Tomato Mushroom Ragout.

Serve with whole-grain crusty bread and a super duper uber nutritious green, such as Swiss ChardKale, or tender Collard Greens.

Simple, quick and delicious!

By the way, use can also your Ragout on any of your favorite Italian dishes, including pasta and to make delectable bruschetta. You can also add some white beans to "up" the nutritional value of this yummy sauce.

Happy Cooking!

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