Creole Ragout over Polenta
Makes 8 servings.
For the Creole ragout:
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 bunch of scallions, roots and dry ends removed, finely chopped
5 fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 bag frozen lima beans
1 teaspoon gf hot sauce
2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
Dash of cayenne
Dash of cinnamon
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1-1/2 Tablespoon gf flour
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup gf vegetable stock
1/4 cup red wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the polenta:
1-1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup polenta
2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, celery, green bell pepper, and scallions. Sauté for 6 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender. Add the tomatoes and lima beans. Stir in the gf hot sauce, sugar, herbs, cayenne and cinnamon. Adjust seasonings to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile in a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add the flour and whisk until a paste forms. Cook, whisking constantly for 1 minute. Add the milk in a steady stream, whisking constantly, until the roux thickens. Stir in the vegetable stock and wine and whisk until smooth. Add the roux mixture to the ragout, stirring to blend. Simmer for another 10 minutes and adjust seasonings to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Meanwhile make the polenta. In a medium saucepan add water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Gradually add polenta, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer polenta, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese and cream to polenta and stir to blend. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Spoon the polenta into the center of 8 shallow pasta bowls and top with the Creole Ragout. Garnish with fresh thyme if desired.