Recipe: Beef Ragu Over Cheesy Polenta

A filling, Italian-inspired recipe made with fresh, simple ingredients

The following recipe, prepared by Jerry Finzi, appears on



  • 1 cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium diced sweet onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 (28-ounce) can Tuttarosso crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves or two teaspoons dry

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  1. Cook polenta in a medium saucepan, according to package directions. At the end, stir in 1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano and mascarpone. Cover to keep warm.
  2. Next, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Saute onion until translucent, then add beef and garlic, stirring often to break up meat. Cook until meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer beef mixture to a plate using a slotted spoon and discard excess fat. Return meat to the pan, then add the crushed tomatoes, and the herbs and spices. Simmer for 20-30 minutes with the pan covered on low heat.
  5. Divide polenta evenly among 4 shallow bowls. Top each serving with the ragu, top with a few fresh basil leaves and some grated Parmigiano Reggiano, then serve.

The cook time from pan to table is under an hour, so it’s great for a quick family meal during the workweek.

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