6-7cupswaterseasoned with a teaspoon of salt (the amount of water depends on how soft and creamy you want the finished polenta to be.)
For the mushroom ragout
salt and pepper to taste
To make the polenta, bring salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Whisk in the polenta and continue whisking until it starts to thicken. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Allow to cook for 10 minutes then stir in the cream and butter and cook for another 10 minutes on low. Turn off the heat and allow to steam for anything from 5-30 minutes. Before serving, stir one final time and add more butter if preferred.
In a large, deep pan, cook sliced mushrooms with garlic and thyme until the mushroom liquid has reduced and the mushrooms start to brown.
Pour the red wine into the pan and allow to reduce by half before adding the tomato passata and paste.
Pour in the soy sauce and season to taste then allow to simmer for 10 minutes on low heat.
Add the cream, if using, and allow to simmer for another minute or two.
Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary then serve the ragout over creamy polenta.