Pasta with Mushroom Ragu
Pasta with Mushroom Ragu- Wide cut pasta noodles are coated in a rich and hearty meatless pasta sauce making the ultimate easy comfort food meal.
September 23, 2022 by Nicole Collins
Here’s a question…
Why are the cold weather months considered slow cooker season?
Isn’t that backwards?
Shouldn’t we be using the slow cooker when it’s hot out and we don’t want to turn on the oven? Shouldn’t the slow cooker be reserved for those busy summer days when we need no effort meals on the table fast?
Am I wrong here?
I feel like this question bothers me every year, because it just doesn’t make sense in my mind.
I don’t know. This question is actually totally irrelevant, because we are not making a slow cooker meal today. This is simply a case of “inquiring minds want to know”.
Maybe the appeal of the slow cooker is that they tend to make comfort food meals. And we are definitely making some comfort food today.
Today, we’re making Pasta with Mushroom Ragu.
Here’s the funny thing about this recipe. It started as a failed attempt to make a mushroom bolognese. I tried and tried and tested and tested and could not get the bolognese right. Once I gave up on my ideas and let the ingredients steer the path, we ended up with the rich, comforting, hearty, DELISH version of the pasta dish sitting before us today.
So, let’s get to it!
Let’s start with the pasta. I like a nice wide cut noodle for this, so I chose to go with a tagliatelle pasta. You could absolutely use a smaller or shorter cut of pasta, but I like the way the ragu coats every last inch of the big ol’ noodle. We’ll cook the pasta until al dente, and reserve some cooking water to help bring our sauce together.
For our ragu, we’re start with some finely chopped baby bella mushrooms. You guys all know about my texture issues with mushrooms so having a valid excuse to finely chop them up without judgement basically makes my day. We almost want the mushrooms to resemble a ground meat kind of texture, so the fine mince is the perfect compromise. We’ll cook the mushrooms in a mix of butter and olive oil along with some shallots and garlic, and our ragu is half way complete.
After our mushrooms have gotten some nice deep color on them, we’re going to deglaze the pan with some white wine. The wine does a couple of things for us. It helps us get up any brown bits that stuck to the pan. And, it helps to add a little sweet acidity to the sauce without weighing it down with too much liquid. If you don’t want to use wine, you could substitute a little veggie broth.
After our wine reduces, we’ll add in some tomato paste, some herbs de provence, and that reserved pasta cooking water. And, that’s pretty much our sauce. One thing to note about the herbs de provence is that it’s a pretty coarse herb. We want to crush it between our fingers before we add it to the pan to help break it down a little bit and to help activate those dried herbs.
After our sauce simmers for just a couple of minutes, we’ll add in our pasta along with a healthy handful of shredded parmesan cheese. And, it’s time to dig in.
This pasta is the definition of comfort food. It’s rich thanks to that tomato paste. It’s a little creamy thanks to the cheese. It’s earthy thanks to those mushrooms. And, it’s a stick to your ribs kind of meal that doesn’t leave you feeling miserable or overstuffed after you eat. Plus as far as ragus go, this one comes together super quick.
Simply put, it’s *chef’s kiss*.
Okie dokes! You guys know that I fight comfort food season as much as I can. But, if there’s anything you want to see us make this year, please let me know!
I hope you guys enjoy, and let’s eat!
Pasta with Mushroom Ragu
Serves: 2 Print
4 oz tagliatelle pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tbsp unsalted butter
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup white wine
1 tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp herbs de provence
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Reserve ¼ cup pasta cooking water. Drain pasta, and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and shallots, and cook for 7-8 mins until the veggies start to brown. Add garlic, and cook an additional 30 seconds- 1 minute until fragrant.
Add white wine, and cook until the wine has mostly evaporated, 2-3 mins. Add tomato paste and herbs de provence, making sure to crush the dried herbs between your fingers to break them up before adding to that pan. Add in reserved pasta water, stir well to break down the tomato paste, and cook for 1-2 mins.
Add cooked pasta and parmesan cheese to the pan. Stir well to coat the pasta in the ragu. Taste for seasoning, and add a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste. Serve, and enjoy!
*Herbs de provence is a pretty course herb blend, so crushing it between your fingers helps to wake up the spices and helps to break down the big pieces so you don’t have shards of dried herbs in your sauce.
*You could use any long cut pasta for this dish, but I like the wider noodles of tagliatelle.