For the seitan ragù
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (and 2 more when ready to serve)
half an onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 small carrot, cleaned and finely chopped
1 celery stalk, cleaned and finely chopped
1 teaspoon powdered vegetable stock
whole sea salt, just enough to taste
150 ml white wine
350 g seitan, finely chopped (you can use a food processor)
100 ml filtered water
500 g tomato puree
1 teaspoon rice malt syrup
1-2 teaspoons dried thyme
1-2 teaspoons dried oregano
a small handful of fresh parsley, cleaned and finely chopped
chili powder, to taste
freshly ground white pepper, to taste
paprika, to taste
Makes about 6 servings (you can refrigerate it for up to 2 days or freeze it and save it for later).
For the polenta
500 ml filtered water
500 ml vegetable stock
a few pinches of whole sea salt
150 g fine cornmeal
Makes 2-3 servings.
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
To make the seitan ragù, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the onion, carrot, celery, vegetable stock and salt and sweat until the vegetables are slightly soft and translucent. Add the wine and the seitan and cook for a few minutes, stirring continuously, until the wine has evaporated. Pour the water and tomato puree, add the rice malt syrup, the herbs and spice and stir well. Simmer over low heat for about 1 hour. Remove from the heat, add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and stir.
To make the polenta, heat the water and vegetable stock in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the salt and whisk in the cornmeal until fully incorporated, stirring constantly (use a wooden spoon).
Lower the heat and cook, stirring almost continuously, for about 15 minutes or until you reach a velvety texture. Remove from the heat and divide the polenta between individual serving bowls, spoon the warm seitan ragù on top, sprinkle with black pepper and serve.