HOW TO MAKE POLENTA:
- In a large saucepan, bring 6 1/2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil over high heat.
- When boiling, whisk constantly and very slowly pour the cornmeal into the boiling water. Bring just to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cook, whisking constantly, for 5 minutes.
- Cover and continue to cook the polenta, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon and adding more water if necessary, until the polenta is thick and creamy, about 20-25 minutes.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, cover and set polenta aside.
HOW TO MAKE MUSHROOM RAGOUT:
- In a high speed blender, add 1/2 cup water and cashews; process on high speed until mixture is smooth and creamy. Set cashew cream aside.
- In a large frying pan over medium-heat, warm the olive oil. Add the shallot and saute until translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to release their liquid, about 8 minutes.
- Once all but about 1 tablespoon of the mushroom liquid has evaporated, add the marsala; bring to a boil, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes. Pour in the broth, bring to a boil, and cook until the liquid has reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
- Pour the cashew cream into the mushroom mixture and cook for another 5 minutes.
- To serve, divide the polenta on individual serving plates and ladle the muhroom ragout on top. Serve warm.