And the polenta isn't even the best part of this dish. The rest of the dish comes together while you're polenta practically self-cooks and it's so crazy good we eat it at least every other week. While the Pacific Northwest girl in me would rather have the freshest shrimp around, the weekday mom in me prefers the frozen seafood mix bag from Trader Joe's. G and L liked the mix so mixed it is.
SOFT POLENTA with SEAFOOD RAGOUT
adapted from Mario Batali
5 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 cup polenta
salt and pepper
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs olive oil
1/4 yellow onion, about 1/4 cup, chopped or finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
pinch of chile flakes
3 Tbs tomato paste
1 lb mixed seafood (I bought the frozen mix from Trader Joe's and thawed before cooking) or shrimp
salt and pepper to taste
½ c dry white wine
zest from one lemon
2 Tbs lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped parsley, set aside 2 Tbs for garnish
For the polenta:
In a medium pot, boil the water and salt.
Pour the polenta into the boiling water while whisking and boil for roughly 3 minutes, whisking occasionally to prevent sticking and burning.
Turn the heat off and place a tight-fitting lid for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, check to see that all of the water has been absorbed. With a whisk or spoon, season with salt and pepper and olive oil. Keep warm.
While the polenta is resting/cooking, cook the ragout.
In a large saucepan or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
Add the onions and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes.
Add garlic, paprika, oregano and tomato paste. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the tomato paste has slightly darkened.
Add wine and water and cook for 1 minute.
Add the seafood mix, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the seafood is just cooked through, about 2-3 minutes.
Add lemon zest, lemon juice and chopped parsley.
To serve, spoon polenta into a shallow bowl and scoop the seafood ragout on top. Sprinkle with reserved parsley and serve with wedges of lemon and extra chile flakes.