This recipe is decidedly wholesome, boasting bold flavours and textures to boot. With a spritz of Giuliano Tartufi white truffle spray to garnish and a glass (or two!) of Rocca Giovanni Nebbiolo d'Alba, this Porcini and Chestnut Sauce with Creamy Polenta will soon become a firm favourite in your home.

Serves 4

40g Gigante porcini
1 cup boiling water
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVO)
250g fresh button mushrooms, halved
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup red wine
100g Naiciña chestnuts, coarsely crumbled
1 cup Foundation beef stock (or vegetable stock for a vegetarian version but note the sauce will not gel and be thinner)
2 Tbsp Giusti red label balsamic vinegar
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, plus extra to garnish
Giuliano Tartufi white truffle spray (optional)

Creamy Polenta:
4 cups water
2 tsp salt
1 cup La Grande Ruota yellow quick cook polenta
½ cup Zany Zeus mascarpone
50g freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Place the porcini in a bowl; pour over the boiling water then set aside for 20-30 minutes to rehydrate.

Heat the EVO in a large pan set over medium heat. Add the fresh mushrooms and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and a little salt and pepper and cook for a minute more, stirring continuously. Add the red wine to deglaze the pan and simmer for 2-3 minutes to reduce by half.  Add the chestnuts, stock, porcini and soaking liquid; bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until sauce is reduced and syrupy. Add the balsamic and parsley and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

To make the polenta, bring 4 cups water to the boil in a large heavy-based pot. Add a teaspoon of salt. Rain in the polenta while whisking continuously to avoid lumps forming. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly for 5 minutes. Stir in the mascarpone and Parmigiano and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve the polenta topped with the mushroom sauce and garnished with the remaining parsley. Finish with some truffle spray, if desired and serve with a glass of Rocca Giovanni Nebbiolo d’Alba.

Recipe by Julie Le Clerc

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