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Pasta with Wild Mushroom Ragù Recipe

Pasta with Wild Mushroom Ragù Recipe

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Allison Beck

Wild Mushroom Ragu

This is my 30 minute version of a rich and hearty mushroom ragù. As long as you have sherry in the cabinet, all you have to get are some fresh mushroom for a quick weeknight dinner.

While I serve this with nutty whole-wheat pasta, anything that suits your taste will work — if I have rough-cut fresh pappardelle, I'll use that, too.

If you're lucky to have access to freshly foraged wild mushrooms, use them! Hen of the woods mushrooms and fresh chanterelles will greatly boost the flavor of the ragù. If you have a bit of truffle butter or a truffle on hand to grate (because we all wish we did), top each dish with a bit for a decadent treat.

Click here to see Recipe SWAT Team: Pasta Dishes.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 14 ounces mushrooms, preferably wild (I used 10 ounces cremini, 4 ounces shiitakes), sliced ¼-inch thick
  • Salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • ¼ cup sherry
  • ½ cup cheese, grated, preferably Gruyère and Parmigiano, plus more for garnish
  • ¼ cup reserved pasta water, to thin out sauce


Heat the oil in a 12-inch sauté pan over high heat. Add the onions and turn heat to medium-high. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent and a bit golden around the edges. Add the sliced mushrooms and let the pan sit until the mushrooms start to give off moisture. Gently toss and season.

In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil for the pasta. Season the water until it tastes like the sea, then add the pasta and cook according to the instructions on the box.

Meanwhile, continue to cook until all the mushrooms let off more water and are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the sherry and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add the cheese.

While the pasta cooks, let the mushrooms sit over low heat. Once your pasta is ready, add ¼ cup pasta water to the sauce to thin it out and add the cooked and drained pasta. Toss and divide amongst 4 plates. Serve immediately with extra grated cheese, for garnish.

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
  • ½ cup Marsala wine
  • ¼ cup Parmesan-Romano cheese blend
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Cook garlic and onion in the hot oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add sliced mushrooms to the hot skillet, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with oil. Toss together and cook for 3 minutes. Add chicken broth and Marsala wine reduce heat and let simmer until sauce reduces, about 10 minutes. Add Parmesan-Romano cheese, basil, and parsley.

Pappardelle ai Funghi

Toscana is celebrated for a rustic cuisine that showcases simple ingredients in flavorful dishes, like this recipe for handcrafted pasta ribbons cooked in a wild-mushroom ragù.

Pappardelle ai Funghi (Pappardelle with Wild Mushroom Ragù)
Recipe courtesy of Eataly

1 pound pappardelle
1 pound mixed mushrooms (such as porcini, cremini, oyster, shiitake or maitake), stems removed & sliced
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons thyme, freshly chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
Salt & freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated, for serving

In a 12-14-inch sauté pan, heat the extra virgin olive oil over high heat until it is smoking. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook them over high heat for 5 minutes, until the onions are a light golden brown. Add the chopped mushrooms, and continue cooking until they have given up most of their water, about 9-10 minutes. Add the wine, thyme, salt, and pepper, to taste, then reduce the heat to medium. Cook the sauce for 5 more minutes, until the mixture is of a ragù consistency.

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil, and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Drop the pasta in the pot, and cook it until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving the cooking water, and add the pasta to the ragù.

Add the pasta to the pan with the mushroom ragù, and toss. Add the lemon juice and parsley, and toss over high heat for 1 minute to coat the pappardelle evenly, adding a ladleful of pasta water if needed.

Check the seasoning for salt and pepper, and adjust, if necessary. Divide the pasta evenly among four warmed pasta bowls, top each dish with the freshly-grated Parmigiano Reggiano, and serve immediately.

Lidia’s Favorite Recipes

Squeeze out the soaked porcini and slice them into pieces about 1/4-inch wide. Strain the soaking water and keep it in a warm spot. Clean, trim and slice the fresh mushrooms into moderately thin slices, barely 1/4-inch wide. Tie the sprigs of fresh herbs together with a piece of kitchen twine, or enclose the leaves in cheesecloth.

Put the oil and butter in a large skillet and place over medium heat. When the butter melts, dump in the onions and shallots and half the salt and stir well. Heat to a slow sizzle and cook for 6 minutes or more—stirring often—until the onions are soft, wilted and shiny, without any browning.

Pour all the mushrooms into the pan, and spread them out . Sprinkle in the remaining salt, drop in the herb bouquet, then toss briefly and cover the pan. Raise the heat a bit and cook covered for about 3 minutes, shaking the pan now and then to sweat the mushrooms.

Uncover and continue to cook over fairly high heat, stirring frequently, as the mushrooms shrink and the liquid evaporates, 5 minutes or more. When the pan is dry and the mushrooms begin to brown, clear a hot spot, drop in the tomato paste and toast it, stirring, for a minute or so, then stir it into the mushrooms.

When everything is browning again and just starting to stick, pour the Marsala all over. Stir constantly as the wine thickens and evaporates. When the mushrooms again start sticking to the bottom, pour in the warm mushroom water and 2 cups of the hot stock. Bring to an active boil, stirring up any caramelization on the pan bottom. Lower the heat to keep the sauce bubbling gently all over the surface and cover the pan. Cook for about 20 minutes, occasionally stirring and adding stock to keep the mushrooms nearly covered in liquid expect to add 1/2 cup or so at a time. Adjust the heat to keep the simmer high and steady but not too rapid.

Uncover the pan and cook for another 20 minutes, maintaining the simmer and adding stock as needed. When the mushrooms are thoroughly tender and the sauce has just thickened, remove and discard the herb bouquet. Taste and add salt, if needed, and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Tagliatelle with Wild Mushrooms

Recipe adapted from "Mastering Pasta: The Art and Practice of Handmade Pasta, Gnocchi, and Risotto," by Marc Vetri with David Joachim

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus resting time

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes, plus resting time


For the Pasta Dough:

1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons (170 grams), type 00 flour

7 tablespoons (55 grams) durum flour

2 to 3 tablespoons water, plus more as needed

For the Mushroom Ragout:

½ medium yellow onion, very finely diced

4 cups (about 8 ounces) assorted mushrooms (such as maitake, morels and king trumpets), cut or torn into thin slices

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to top

2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided

2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary, divided


1. Make the pasta dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or on a work surface, combine both flours and make a well in the center. On medium speed, or using your fingers, mix in the egg yolks, oil and water, adding them one ingredient at a time and mixing just until the dough comes together, 2 to 3 minutes. If the dough seems dry, add another tablespoon of water.

2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and using the palms of your hands, knead the dough until it feels silky and smooth, about 8 to 10 minutes.The dough is ready when it gently pulls back into place when it is slightly stretched.

3. Shape the dough into a ball and then flatten the ball into a disk. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or chill in the fridge for up to 3 days.

4. To roll out the dough, cut it into 4 equal pieces. Let the pieces sit, covered, at room temperature for 10 minutes if chilled.

5. Shape each piece into an oval wide enough to fit the width of your pasta roller. Lightly flour your work surface and set the pasta roller to its widest setting. Lightly flour 1 piece of dough, pass it through the roller and then lightly dust the rolled dough with flour, brushing off the excess with your hands. Pass the dough through the widest setting again. Lower the setting by 1 notch and continue to pass the dough through until you've reached the desired thickness. For tagliatelle, roll the dough to about ⅛-inch thick.

6. Fit the pasta machine with the appropriate cutter and run the pasta sheets through the cutter.  

7. Using floured hands, toss the pasta to keep from sticking. Cover the pasta and refrigerate it until ready to cook.

8. Meanwhile, make the mushroom ragout: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

9. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onions. Season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until lightly browned and softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and continue to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. If the pan looks dry, add another tablespoon of olive oil.

10. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling salted water and cook it two thirds of the way through, 10 to 20 seconds. The pasta will finish cooking in the sauce.

11. Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking liquid.

12. Add the pasta, chicken stock, butter, ¼ cup Parmesan and half the parsley and rosemary to the mushroom ragout and cook, thinning with the reserved pasta cooking liquid as needed, until the pasta is coated with sauce and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Top with the remaining herbs and a sprinkle of Parmesan.

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 8 ounces cremini, or small portobello mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • 1 14-ounce can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped, juices reserved
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 12 ounces pasta, such as fettuccine
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic and thyme. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are browned and release their juices, 7 to 8 minutes.

Uncover, add wine and cook until reduced to a glaze, 4 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juices. Adjust heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and toss with mushroom sauce. Serve immediately, passing the Parmesan.

The pasta

First, though, you will need to select a pasta (this sauce would also work with polenta). Penne is the most popular choice, suggested by Del Conte and Hazan, with the latter also mentioning garganelli or radiatori. ATK recommends campanelli or farfalle, while Harris suggests pappardelle, tagliatelle or fettuccine Ottolenghi and Belfrage don’t specify, but the picture in their book seems to show their ragu tossed with fresh tagliatelle, which is also the choice of The Silver Spoon. Clearly, it is a matter of preference, but such a chunky sauce seems lost on penne and radiatori, where the openings are too small to allow much ingress. I prefer longer shapes – tagliatelle or pappardelle – and fresh, too, to match the richness of the sauce. But use whatever you have handy: the sauce is the star here.

Mushroom Ragù Pasta

Linda Xiao for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.

Rich and earthy, this creamy pasta feels appropriate for date night, but comes together quickly enough for a weeknight. The process is simple, but the details do matter here: Use a thin pasta, like spaghettini or angel hair, so that it cooks in the same amount of time it takes the stock and cream to reduce to a sauce. Also pay close attention during the last few minutes of cooking the pasta to ensure you’re stirring enough and adding enough water to create a silky sauce. Porcini mushroom powder, which is optional, adds depth, and can be made at home by pulverizing store-bought dried mushrooms in a spice grinder (see Tip). Offset the richness of the dish with a classic green salad, shaved fennel, or some mustardy bitter greens.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter
  • 1 ¼ pounds assorted wild mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ¼ cup minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup creme fraiche
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in mushrooms with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until any liquid evaporates and mushrooms are light brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add 1/2 tablespoon butter and shallots cook, stirring, until mushrooms are caramelized and almost tender, about 10 minutes.

Drizzle in Cognac and vinegar cook until liquid evaporates, 1 minute. Stir in creme fraiche.

Stir in chicken broth, marjoram, and salt and black pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium-low, cook until slightly thickened and mushrooms are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Related Video

Took advice from some other cooks: added variety of mushrooms (left out dried), added garlic to onions, added 2 T. white wine (halved recipe), added 1/4 c. heavy cream to milk (as opposed to all milk), turned out pretty good!

After reading the reviews, I followed other peoples advice, and added the garlic and a little oregano while sauteing the onions.I only had cremini mushrooms, so that was what I used. I also made extra bechamel sauce so that the pasta wouldnt dry out. Someone said it tasted like cream of mushroom soup with pasta. Yeah it did a little. My boyfriend who is a chef, said it was pretty bland for him, but I didnt mind it at all. I will definitely try adding some cooked chicken, and the sun dried tomatoes next time. We both agree, that we enjoyed this recipe a lot more:

After reading the recipe and some of the reviews, this did indeed sound like something that could be made delicious with a little adjustment. My results were terrific! I used the three varieties of mushrooms suggested, but sauteed up a heaping TBSP of garlic with my onions. I used 1/2 & 1/2 for the sauce, and added extra Parmesan. The sauce is pretty thin, but the consistency improves once it's added to the mushroom reduction. I also added about 1/2 cup of oil cured, julienne cut sun dried tomatoes that had been well drained, as well as about 2 cups of diced, cooked chicken. I cooked my pasta to slightly less done than al dente, tossed it with the sauce, and baked it in the casserole as suggested. I rather liked the crunchiness on the top. Though the dish was not a saucy one, I thought it was plenty moist. Just don't over bake it! 20 minutes is plenty. My family raved, and I'll be making this again.

The ragout is great, BUT. Do not bake. Make as sauce to serve over linguini, etc. Baking takes away/soaks up/breaks down too much liquid (not correctable) and almost inevitably overcooks pasta. I think done as a baked dish, it undercuts and unbalances the qualities of the ingredients.

This is a favourite, especially for mushroom lovers. I used green onions instead of chives, added extra milk to the sauce to make it creamier, and used Asiago to top it off. Can be made a day ahead, refrigerated, and then baked the next day. This is a keeper.

This is excellent. I made a few changes, added some heavy cream to the milk, substituted the 1/2 C of parmesan in the mixture with grated fontina. I also added chopped wilted swiss chard, marjoram, thyme and nutmeg. I took it as my offering at a large family gathering and it was a huge hit.

Solid recipe. I did feel it was like putting cream of mushroom soup into a bowl of penne pasta, then baking it. That's kinda what it is, but it was overall good.

I could see where the recipe as stands could be very bland, though I don't know how it would become dry! I used shiitake, oyster, and enoki mushrooms since button mushrooms and porcini are not available around me. I also added 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp of dried sage, basil, and oregano and 1T of minced roasted garlic. I served with a marinated pork tenderloin and steamed asparagus. Next time I will add chicken to the bake and serve it as a meal by itself.

I love mushrooms and put my all into preparing this dish. I followed recipe to the letter. VERY time consuming and the dish was so dry that it seemed like the penne came right out of the box it was hard like a brick! Very dry and pretty much gross, wasted alot of money and good food. I threw out the entire dish minus two bites! Where did I go wrong?

It was a time-investment but worth it.

I incorporated several of the suggestions given by others. Added lots of garlic, oregano, sage and black pepper to the sauce, and used more porcini than called for - still too blan! Also added a little bit of spinach to the mushrooms, which may have diluted it somewhat. But I don't think it is possible to rescue this one. Maybe some crushed chili peppers on top would have helped, but thought of it too late.

I would like to know if this recipe could be made beforehand [1 hour], and then put in the oven. If so would you refrigerate while waiting? This will be served to company and would like it to be all prepared so I don't have to be in the kitchen.

Based on previous reviews, I added salt, fresh pepper, fresh basil, fresh oregano, fresh garlic, shallots and some grilled chicken. I tried the mushroom / milk / chicken mixture before I added the seasonings and herbs and it was very bland. You need to really season the mixture and taste it. In addition, I used dried portabella mushrooms, and fresh white, crimini and shitake mushrooms. The water from the dried mushrooms is key I think so that the dish doesn't dry out. Based on these changes, I thought the dish was fantastic! I don't usually cook pasta without some type of protein, so I liked the chicken. I am making it again to bring to a friend who just had a baby.

It was good, but a lot of work for a relatively unexciting dish.

I love mushrooms and made this for the first time as is. Turned out great. Will make this dish again.

use several kinds of mushrooms -- to your taste -- makes it even better

I love mushrooms so really wanted to make this, but was rather skeptical after reading so many hohum reviews. So, I made a few changes: added 3 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 3/4 cup white wine, lots of fresh ground pepper and reduced the milk to 11/2 cups and added 1 cup of plain yogurt. Otherwise I followed the recipe. With these changes, this was a great pasta dish - rich and tasty, and the nutmeg was a lovely complement to the mushroom flavours. It certainly did not resemble canned cream of mushroom soup at all! My only complaint is that it was a tad dry after baking, so next time I will reduce the oven temp and bake only 10-15 min until it is just heated through. Served with grilled chicken breasts, dilled sugar snap peas, a simple mixed green salad and Italian cheese bread. This will definitely go in my favourites file!

Even with the addition of wine, garlic and herbs, this dish was boring, it reminded me of a canned cream of mushroom soup casserole -- a waste of good ingredients. I honestly can't believe the recipe made it into a magazine.

I enjoyed this very much and have made it a few times now. I made a couple of changes however..I added some merlot to the ragout along with 2 large sliced italian yellow squash along with oyster and italian mushrooms. I also added fresh basil,dried thyme and a little minced garlic. I liked that I could prepare this in little time and it presented well. Everyone seems to enjoy this dish and I've been asked to make it time and time again.

Use plenty of black pepper. I thought it was screaming for some fresh herbs, probably tarragon, maybe thyme. It might have been nice to reduce some marsala or other wine in the sauteed mushroom mixture. Good comfort food. Not great, but good.

The whole family (two preschoolers included!) loved this meal. I will definitely make it again. Was a little time-consuming but worth the effort.

I added chicken - marinated strips of breast meat in olive oil and fresh thyme and garlic - and it was wonderful. Also added some thyme to the mushrooms. Skip the breadcrumbs - why bother.

this dish was great! I would highly recommend it. I didn't use the regular white mushrooms as I am not particularly fond of them and instead used a combination of porcini and oyster. also I only baked it for 10 minuntes (sans breadcrumbs) as I was too excited to eat.

great dish. delicious. added garlic thanks to the other responses and yum.

I was somewhat disappointed with this recipe. Although it had a pleasing taste, the preparation was so time consuming that I know I will never make it again.


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