Polenta lasagne with mushroom ragù

Polenta lasagne with mushroom ragù

Preparation time
30 mins to 1 hour

Cooking time
1 to 2 hours

Serves 6–8


By Gennaro Contaldo
From Saturday Kitchen


For the mushroom ragù

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 thyme sprig, leaves picked
  • 500g/1lb 2oz chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 700ml/1¼ pint passata
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the polenta

  • pinch sea salt
  • 200g/7oz quick-cook polenta
  • 25g/1oz butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 125g/4½oz mozzarella, drained and roughly chopped
  • 60g/2¼oz grated vegetarian hard cheese, plus extra to garnish

For the green salad

  • handful rocket
  • 1 radicchio, leaves seperated
  • 1 castelfranco, leaves separated
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Lightly grease three rectangular-shaped trays or dishes that are approximately 18x24cm/7×9½in with butter and set aside.

  2. To make the mushroom ragù, heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and fry the onion and thyme for a couple of minutes, or until the pancetta begins to colour.

  3. Stir in the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and fry over a medium–high heat for 2–3 minutes. Add the passata with a little water (rinsed out of the passata jar), then cover with a lid and cook over a gentle heat for 1 hour.

  4. Meanwhile, to make the polenta, place 800ml/1½ pint water in a large saucepan, add the salt and bring to the boil. Gradually whisk in the polenta and cook for a couple of minutes until thickened (or cook according to the packet instructions). Remove from the heat before mixing in the butter.

  5. Divide the polenta mixture between the three pre-prepped trays, then level out and smooth the top with an oiled spatula. Leave to cool for 30 minutes.

  6. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.

  7. Lightly grease a deep, rectangular ovenproof dish that is 18x24cm/7×9½in with oil and line with one of the cooled polenta layers. Top with a third of the mushroom ragù, followed by a third of the mozzarella and hard cheese. Continue making layers like these until you have used up all the ingredients, finishing with a layer of the cheeses on top.

  8. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until the top is nicely golden and bubbling. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

  9. To make the salad, mix all the leaves together in a large serving bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Just before serving dress the salad leaves.

  10. Serve a spoonful of the lasagne onto a dinner plate with the salad alongside