Creamy Mushroom Ragu with Pappardelle

creamy mushroom ragu with pappardelle
  • 4Servings


  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or Imagine Vegetarian No-Chicken Broth
  • 1-oz. package or a fat handful dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound fresh cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 leafy ribs celery from the heart, very thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup marsala
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • About 1/8 tsp. freshly grated or ground nutmeg
  • 1 pound pappardelle
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for passing at the table


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

In a small saucepan, bring the stock and dried porcini mushrooms to a boil over high. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer until the mushrooms soften, about 5 minutes.

In a large skillet with a lid, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Melt the butter into the oil. When the butter foams, add the fresh cremini mushrooms and thyme. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are fragrant and evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the onion, celery, garlic and crushed red pepper; season with salt and pepper. Partially cover and cook, stirring the sauce occasionally, until the vegetables soften, 3 to 5 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the softened porcini to a cutting board. Chop and add to the sauce.

Mix the tomato paste into the sauce, then the marsala. Pour in the porcini stock, leaving behind any grit on the bottom of the pan. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the cream and nutmeg and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer while the pasta cooks.

Salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook until almost al dente. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water; drain the pasta. Toss the pasta, cooking water and 1/2 cup cheese with the sauce; season. Serve in shallow bowls. Pass more cheese at the table for topping.