Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
If you love mushrooms, this sauce will hit the spot. You could use it as a topping for pastas, meats, and – my favorite – polenta. The secret to a rich, deeply flavorful sauce is to use a variety of mushrooms, preferably the wild varieties. I’m partial to cremini, oyster, and shiitake, but you could also add portobellos, hen-of-the-woods, chanterelles, or any other variety you find. The only ones I’d steer clear of are regular white button mushrooms. Their mild flavor will get lost amid the stronger tastes of the wild varieties, and their high water content will thin your sauce without providing much flavor.
Giada's Mushroom Ragu
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 pound mixed mushrooms such as cremini, oyster, shiitake chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
- 3/4 cup red wine
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 5 fresh basil leaves chopped
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 pound short pasta of choice such as rigatoni, penne, or torchiette – optional
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over a medium flame. When almost smoking, add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is tender, about 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Increase the heat to high and saute until the mushrooms are tender and all of the liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the wine. Return the pan to the heat and simmer until the wine evaporates, about 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth and simmer until the sauce has reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese, basil, parsley and butter. Season the ragu with more salt and pepper to taste.
- If serving with pasta, cook your pasta according to package instructions. Once aldente, toss in the pasta with the mushroom ragu.
- The sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before using.