This Vegetable Cacciatore with Soft Polenta is incredible! All of the flavors of a traditional cacciatore and served over creamy soft polenta. Vegan and gluten free options.
24ouncescremini mushrooms and/or white button mushroomssliced
1red bell pepperdiced
1medium zucchiniquartered lengthwise and sliced
3 to 4clovesgarlicminced
4 to 6sun dried tomatoessliced (optional)
1tablespoonall-purpose flouromit to keep this gluten free
1 1/2cupsdry white wine
28ounceSan Marzano whole tomatoes
1/4teaspoonground thymeor 4 fresh thyme sprigs
pinchof crushed red pepper flakesor more, to taste
2tablespoonscapers, drained and rinsed
15ouncecannellini beansdrained and rinsed
1 to 2handfuls fresh spinach
fresh basil leaves for serving
grated Parmesan for servingomit for vegans and vegetarians
Soft Polenta (Serves 4)
1 1/4cupmilkuse vegetable broth to keep this vegan
1 1/4cupvegetable broth
1/2cupquick cooking polenta
1tablespoonbutteruse olive oil to keep this vegan
few pinches of saltto taste
1/8cupParmesanomit for vegans and vegetarians
Heat the olive oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes. They will soak up all of the olive oil, then release all of their moisture after a few minutes then begin to dry up and brown at about the ten minute mark. At that point, add the onions, celery, red pepper and carrot, Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the zucchini, garlic and sun dried tomatoes. Sprinkle the vegetables with the flour (if using) and toss to coat. Add the white wine. Using your hands, squeeze each tomato from the can over the pot to break it up. I like to remove the stem end and discard it. Add the remaining sauce from the can and the oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes and capers.
Bring the pot to a light boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Simmer for 35 to 45 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Add the cannellini beans and the spinach. Cook for another ten minutes to warm the beans and wilt the spinach.
To make the polenta: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the milk and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Add the polenta while whisking. Cook for three minutes. Add the butter or olive oil. Salt to taste. Top with grated Parmesan.
Serves 4 (doubles easily)
Serve on top of polenta, pasta or mashed potatoes with a sprinkling of fresh basil and grated Parmesan, if desired.
Recipe by, Caroline Hurley, Taste Love and Nourish, www.tasteloveandnourish.com