Soft Polenta with Poached Egg and Tomato Ragu

Soft Polenta with Poached Egg and Tomato Ragu

On Friday I met my friend Deb for lunch at Boulder’s Cafe Aion, and my lunch was so memorable I have been wanting to try to reproduce it at home.  It was a large, shallow bowl full of soft polenta, topped with soft poached eggs and a swirl of a chunky tomato ragu.  Total heaven.  I came up with a close approximation:

For the soft polenta, I used a coarse grind from Bob’s Red Mill.  I heated up three and a half cups of water and then gradually stirred in a cup of the polenta.  Simmer for ten minutes and then stir in salt and white pepper to taste, plus a tablespoon or two of olive oil or butter.  Cover to keep warm.  This could be a really fast meal if you use pre-made sauce and prepared polenta, but really, this did not take much time to whip up. Here’s the ragu recipe:

Chunky Tomato Ragu
1 15-ounce can diced, fire-roasted tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup diced, white onion
1 small carrot, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
pinch of salt
pinch of crushed Aleppo pepper
pinch of sugar

Drain off the excess juice from the tomatoes, and set aside.  In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and saute the onion and carrot until soft.  Add the tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, and sugar, and simmer, covered, for ten minutes.  Serve hot over the warm polenta, and top with a poached or over-easy egg.

Cafe Aion’s version of the ragu included fresh rosemary and chopped bell peppers, which I enjoyed but skipped.  I will definitely be going back to try more of their dishes–I took home some of their house-made croissants, which were to die for.  Very impressed.

Thanks for reading,


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  1. I just read that Ferran Adria does not like bell peppers. This made me like him more.

  2. This looks marvelous! Very do-able and comfort foodish.

  3. Oh, now I definitely like him more!

  4. Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz

    Looks like a really hearty comforting meal.Nice for a cold day and a quick dinner.


    Wow… I want it for breakfast! Delicious and comforting! – megan

  6. So healthy and delicious, love your tomato ragu recipe. This combo makes a light and nutritious meal as well…

  7. I l-o-v-e LOVE this. And I even have every single ingredient on hand to make it tonight for dinner…including the aleppo pepper. Thanks for sharing the dish. I really enjoy trying ot recreate dishes from restaurants.

  8. the constant hunger

    Oh, wow. That looks so amazing. I would even go one step further and sprinkle everything with shaved Parmesan. Fantastic breakfast idea for the weekend.

  9. Simple elegance! I love all of the above. You just can't go wrong with polenta.

  10. First of all….how could you even stand to stop and take the pictures. I would be diving in that amazingness! This looks so wonderful and a heart warming kind of meal.

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