This time of year, despite the 90 degree days we’re still having in LA, my cravings for warm, satisfying, comfort food start to take over, and all I can think about is pasta in rich sauces, creamy soups, and warm baked goods. Thankfully, this butternut squash polenta sates that comfort food craze, while still being simple to make and a bit more balanced than that mac and cheese I’ve been dreaming of.
Creamy Butternut Squash Polenta with Mushrooms & Sage
Prep Time: 1 hour
1.5 pounds butternut squash
8 cups water
2 cups polenta (or coarse cornmeal)
4 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp minced garlic
3 cups sliced (or small, whole) mushrooms
10-20 sage leaves (depending on size)
Parmesan- freshly grated, to taste
Black pepper- to taste
Peel and dice butternut squash. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil, add squash. Boil 10-15 minutes, until squash is tender, but firm. Once squash is cooked, drain, return to saucepan, and mash with a potato masher. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, bring 8 cups water to rolling boil over medium high. Slowly add polenta by whisking it into the water. Whisk constantly until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring well every 10 minutes. When polenta is thick, smooth, and is pulling away from the sides of the pan, stir in mashed butternut squash.
While polenta is cooking, heat butter over medium low heat until melted. Add garlic and saute´until lightly browned. Add sliced mushrooms and salt, sauteíng until golden brown.
Once mushrooms and polenta are ready, keep warm over low heat. In a small skillet, melt remaining 2 Tbsp butter. Once hot, add sage leaves and fry until dark green and crisped. Remove from pan.
Serve polenta in a shallow bowl, or on a deep plate. Spoon mushrooms over polenta. Top with sage leaves, grated parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste.
(Tip- to make a vegan version of this dish, just swap out the butter for olive oil and skip the cheese)!
Creamy polenta with a little sweetness of squash and the earthiness of the mushrooms- it’s like fall on a plate! As an extra little treat today, pop by my blog for a bonus recipe that will help you turn the leftover polenta into a cozy breakfast!