Pasta with Wild Mushroom Ragù Recipe

Pasta with Wild Mushroom Ragù Recipe
Staff Writer
Wild Mushroom Ragu

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.

Pasta Shopping Tip

Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.

Pasta Cooking Tip

Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients.Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.

Pasta Wine Pairing

Sweet chenin blanc, muscat, or amontillado sherry with nut-based desserts; sauternes or sweet German wines with pound cake, cheesecake, and other mildly sweet desserts; sweet chenin blanc or muscat or Alsatian vendange tardive (late harvest) wines with sweeter desserts; sweet chenin blanc or muscat or Alsatian vendange tardive (late harvest) wines, port, madeira, late-harvest zinfandel, or cabernet sauvignon or cabernet franc with chocolate desserts.