Soft, warm and in a bowl. That should be the official definition of comfort food.

Mushrooms, Fontina and Speck on Soft Polenta definitely qualifies. Make it, you’ll see what I mean! #comfortfood #plantprotein #polenta #spoon #cheesy


Mushrooms, Fontina and Speck on Soft Polenta

Serves 6



2 cups instant polenta

2 cups finely grated Parmesan

200g unsalted butter, chopped, brought to room temperature

100ml olive oil

700g mixed fresh mushrooms, roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

⅓ cup each of marjoram, basil and flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

juice of 1 lemon

1½ cups grated Fontina cheese (or use Provolone, Gouda or Gruyere)

12 thin slices speck or pancetta, grilled until crisp (streaky bacon would also work)



1 Bring 1.75L (7 cups) water to the boil in a large pan. Add a pinch of salt, then reduce heat to low and whisk in polenta in a slow, steady stream. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thick and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan and 150g butter. Season well, then cover to keep warm.

2 Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Once oil is almost smoking, add mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 8-10 minutes until mushrooms are golden and any liquid they give off has evaporated. Add the garlic, herbs, lemon juice and remaining 50g butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir to coat evenly in the herb mixture and remove from heat.

3 Divide polenta among plates and scatter with a little grated Fontina. Spoon the hot mushrooms and their juices over the polenta, top with remaining Fontina and serve topped with crisped speck or pancetta. Serve immediately.