Maggie Beer

Soft Polenta with Sauteed Mushrooms

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Step 1: Bring the milk, water and bay leaf to the boil then remove from heat and allow to infuse for 20 minutes. Strain and discard the bay leaf, bring to the boil again, pour in the polenta and stir continuously until it thickens, about 10-20 minutes, depending on the variety of polenta.

Step 2: When cooked, add the mascarpone and grated pecorino and mix until well combined. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. The polenta should be soft and creamy and only just hold its shape. You may need to add a little extra of the standby milk to loosen up the polenta if it becomes too stiff – this will also depend on what brand of polenta you use. You want a sloppy, porridge type consistency.

Step 3: To sauté the mushrooms, melt the butter and a splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a large non stick frying pan, when the butter starts bubbling, add the garlic and mushrooms and cook briefly until golden but just done, the mushrooms still moist. Add the herbs and mix through, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. You may need to add a little more butter, to keep the mushrooms moist.

Step 4: Pour the polenta into a serving dish, top with the sautéed mushrooms and shavings of pecorino and serve.


  1. 250ml milk plus extra 100ml on standby
  2. 250ml water
  3. 1/2 cup fine polenta
  4. 1/3 cup mascarpone
  5. 50g pecorino grated
  6. 30ml 1 splash Extra Virgin Olive Oil for sauteeing
  7. 2 cloves garlic chopped
  8. 600g 6 large mushroom thickly sliced
  9. 1 tbspn fresh thyme chopped
  10. 1 tspn fresh lemon thyme chopped
  11. To taste sea salt
  12. 30g pecorino shaved
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