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Eggplant Ragu with Creamy Polenta

Do you ever have that dream where you’re floating on an eggplant raft in a pool of gloriously cheesy polenta and you never want it to end?  Yeah, uh, me neither.

Just under 15 minutes
2 Hot-tips
If you’ve ever been to Italy, you’ve experienced the epic euphoria that is polenta. It's typically laced with exorbitant amounts of butter and a variety of cheeses, resulting in the richest of dishes. Put down your passport, grab a defibrillator, and head on over to our polenta party. We pair ours with an eggplant ragu that carefully balances sweet and sour flavors, just like they do in Italy. And dare we say our ooey, gooey, cheesy polenta rivals any you can find in the boot, it’s the stuff dreams are made of.

must-have

polenta
1 cup (5 parts water to 1 part polenta)
eggplant
1
portabella mushroom (stem too!)
1
cherry tomatoes
12
apple cider vinegar
about 2 tablespoons
cream cheese
3 tablespoons
parmesan cheese
¾ cup
basil
about ½ cup

staples

salt
pepper
olive oil
about ½ cup
sugar
about 2 tablespoons
butter
3 tablespoons

totally optional

chili flakes
2 large pinches

Preparation

Polenta prep
Place a medium pan over high heat and fill with 5 cups of hot water. Add the polenta to the pan and stir. Season with a big pinch of salt. Let it cook to absorb the water, stirring occasionally.
Ragu-ing
Now place a large pan over high heat to warm up. Meanwhile, cube up your eggplant. Take your portabella and scrape the gills from the underside of the cap with a spoon. Next dice up your mushroom. Your pan should be screaming hot by now. Add your olive oil to the hot pan. Toss the eggplant and mushroom into the pan. Season with salt, pepper and, if you like it spicy, chili flakes. Give the mixture a good toss.
Tomato time
Grab your tomatoes and slice each in half, or try our hot tip to slice several at a time. Add the tomatoes to the ragu, scrunching them as you add them in. Add the apple cider vinegar and sugar to the pan and toss it up.
Pimp up the polenta
Grab your parm and grate it up. Once the polenta reaches the applesauce-looking stage, lower the heat. Add the butter, cream cheese, and parm to the polenta and season generously with salt. Stir it up.
Plate time!
Grab a plate. Tear up some basil, add it to the ragu, and toss one last time. Pour a pile of polenta right in the center of your plate. Top with a healthy portion of ragu. Garnish with a final grate of parm and a drizzle of olive oil.
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