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Playing Rigatoni with Creamy Mushroom Ragu


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


Serves: 4


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 pasta cooking water.

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

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

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

Add the carrot, onion, garlic, thyme, sage and bay leaf to the cooked creminis; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute. Stir in the marsala or wine, chopped porcinis, 1 cup of the porcini stock and the warm milk; bring to a simmer.

Add the pasta and reserved pasta water to the sauce. Stir in the cheese and toss to combine.