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.
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.