Castle Valley Mill Polenta w/ Kennett Square Mushroom Ragú

Ingredients:

Castle Valley Mill Polenta, Butter, Garlic, Shallot, Whole Milk, Locatelli Cheese, Salt, Pepper, Cherry Tomato, Oyster Mushroom, Cremini Mushroom, Shiitake Mushroom, Portobello Mushroom, Thyme, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Chive, Parsley

How We Got Here:

The Castle Valley Mill Polenta is locally milled and sourced through Lancaster Farm Fresh. We then sweat shallots and garlic until translucent, add the polenta, and lightly toast the grain. Then we incorporate whole milk, salt, and pepper. When the polenta begins to thicken we grate in fresh locatelli cheese. When the polenta is about 70% cooked, we remove from the heat and cool. The mushroom ragú is a blend of Kennet Square mushrooms that are roasted with fresh thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil. The cherry tomatoes are blistered in a cast iron pan. All the remaining ingredients are carefully prepped and packaged ready for you, the @home chef, to finish the dish. Enjoy!

Sommelier Doug Smith’s

Tasting Notes/Recommended Wine Pairings

Wine Recommendation: Giribaldi Barbera d”Alba; Total Wine $19.99

Premium Selection: Mauro Sebaste Barbera d”Alba Centobricchi; Total Wine $29.99

Polenta is originally a northern Italian dish made of coarse, ground corn though it is cooked to a soft, creamy texture.  So the wine we choose needs to complement the underlying corn flavor as well as the more dominant mushroom ragu.  This sounds like a job for Barbera, a red Italian wine which also happens to be the third most planted varietal in Italy.  The Barbera grape is believed to have originated in the Piedmont region of Italy and ancient documents describe the grape as far back as the 13th century. The wine has low tannin levels and is famed for its aromatics which work beautifully with the aromas that pop from this dish due to the spices and mushroom medley. We are going with a Barbera d’Alba, a lighter red wine so as not to overpower the delicate mushroom flavors and the underlying corn polenta. The Barbera d’Asti – its counterpart from the neighboring Asti province, is generally considered more lively and bright which might fight with the delicate flavors of the dish. The Barbera varietal, in general, will provide amazing aromas of red cherries and blackberries. Due to its high acidity, Barbera d’Alba is best given several years of bottle age, to allow the fruit, oak, tannins and acidity to integrate.

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