Mushroom Ragu

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Mushroom Ragu

Serves 4 + generous leftovers to freeze for later | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 1-3 hours

A luscious, dreamy ragu of mushrooms. the 1-3 hour time frame is for whatever you have time for. You may find at 1 hour the sauce is to your liking. You’re looking for a thickened and concentrated sauce. I like this simply with some high quality pasta. Make your own or seek out a specialty purveyor of fine pasta.


  • 1 1/2 -2 pounds mixed mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow or white onion, finely diced
  • 3 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 3 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 5 dried red chiles (chile de arbol), stemmed and torn into small pieces (or 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes)
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4 cup porcini powder (optional)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes/ or paste (I like Better Than Bouillon)
  • Two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup heavy cream or cashew cream* (optional), room temperature
  • zest of one lemon

Chef Tips

If you can’t find porcini powder or don’t want to purchase any, feel free to omit. The cream is there if you want to make the sauce creamy. You don’t have to.


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 250F.

The first thing to do is prepare your mushrooms. You are going to want to chop them very finely. It takes a while to chop them by hand, but you can also use a food processor, working in batches. Don’t go too far with the food processor or you’ll end up with a paste.

In a large oven-safe pot or Dutch oven, Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once it’s hot stir in the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, red chile and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for ten minutes or so. Until the vegetables have softened a bit and the onions are translucent.

Stir in the chopped mushrooms, the porcini powder and allow to cook until the mushrooms release their moisture – 5 minutes or so. Add the wine, water and bouillon. Break up the bouillon if needed and cook for another 3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and bring everything up to a simmer. Crush the oregano between your palms into the pot. Then decide if you want to make a creamy version of the ragù and if so, stir in the cream. Taste, adjust the seasoning with more salt if needed and stir in the lemon zest. Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 1-3 hours, whatever you have time for, ideally until the ragu has thickened and concentrated a bit.

Use immediately (see suggestions in the post above) or allow to cool completely before refrigerating (up to a few days) or freezing (up to a few months).