Rigatoni with Creamy Mushroom Ragu

Toss pasta with a mixture of herb-seasoned mushrooms added to a tomato wine sauce for a marvelous vegetarian-friendly meal.


  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound rigatoni rigate
  • A generous handful of dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or water (for vegetarians)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 pound crimini or mixed fresh mushrooms of your choice, sliced
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 7-8 sage leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 large  bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine or dry white wine
  • A generous handful of grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the starchy cooking water.

While the pasta is working, in a small saucepan, cover the porcinis with the stock (or water). Bring to a simmer. Drain, reserving the stock; coarsely chop.

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the butter to melt. Add the criminis and cook until browned, 10-12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another saucepan, heat the milk to barely a simmer. Remove from the heat; cover.

Add the carrot, onion, garlic, thyme, sage and bay leaf to the cooked criminis; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute. Stir in the Marsala, porcinis, 1 cup of the porcini stock and the milk; simmer.

Add the pasta and reserved starchy cooking water to the sauce. Stir in the cheese.

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