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Playing Veal or Chicken Ragu with Mushrooms and Marsala


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 pound cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 pound ground veal or chicken
  • Salt and pepper
  • A little freshly grated nutmeg, about 1/8 teaspoon
  • 3 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • A handful sage leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons stemmed thyme
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup Marsala
  • 2 cups veal or chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pound pappardelle, tagliatelle or linguine
  • Grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, for tossing and topping
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling


Serves: 4


Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
In large skillet or Dutch oven, heat oil, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Melt butter into oil, add the mushrooms and brown well. To the browned mushrooms, add veal or chicken and crumble and brown; season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg. Add shallots, celery, garlic, sage and thyme. Stir 3-4 minutes to soften, add tomato paste and stir a minute more. Add Marsala, stock and milk to the sauce, bring to a bubble, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes over low heat.

Cook pasta to al dente in salted water. Add a cup of salted cooking water to the sauce, drain pasta then toss with the sauce to combine, adding in a few handfuls of cheese and parsley. Drizzle with EVOO to finish.

Serve the pasta in shallow bowls and pass extra cheese at table.