Close-up of Veggie Ragu with Cheesy Polenta, as seen on The Pioneer Woman, season 32.
Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond

Veggie Ragu with Cheesy Polenta

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
A "ragu" typically implies a meat sauce in its native Italy, but here, Ree has created a vegetable version to serve on a bed of polenta. Polenta has its roots in the cucina povera, or peasant cuisine, of Northern Italy; made by grinding corn into flour, its texture, akin to American grits, makes a comforting vehicle for any delicious sauce.


Veggie Ragu:



  1. For the veggie ragu: Heat the olive oil and butter in a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the eggplant and onions. Stir, then cook until starting to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the zucchini, red pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning. Cook, stirring, to soften, another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and some salt and pepper, then stir. Add the tomatoes, stir again, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. For the polenta: Meanwhile, bring the vegetable broth to a boil. Season with the garlic powder and onion powder. While stirring, pour in the polenta slowly, and keep stirring until combined. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat. Cook for 5 minutes to thicken. Remove from the heat, then stir in the butter and 1/3 cup Parmesan. Season to taste, cover and set aside.
  3. Check the vegetables, taste, and adjust the seasoning. To serve, spoon the polenta into bowls, making wells in the middles. Fill with the vegetables. Garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan and the basil.