This recipe is for the mushroom lovers out there and I have to say, I feel like I struck gold with this very easy mushroom ragù with tomatoes and pasta.
What I especially loved about this mushroom ragù with tomatoes and pasta is that it just tastes expensive. And the final product looks absolutely beautiful. Allowing the mushroom ragù to cook down for a bit creates a rich, velvety sauce that sticks to every piece of the pasta.
That being said, you may wish to only coat the pasta intend to eat with the sauce. If that’s the case, you can scoop a few ladles of the ragù into a bowl with a bit of the pasta cooking water and add the portions of pasta you want to serve and toss it with the sauce. Store the pasta and ragù separately in the fridge for leftovers. Personally, we don’t mind leftover sauced pasta but some (a lot of!) people don’t care for it!
Using Mushrooms as Meat in Ragù:
Normally ragù is a meat-based sauce, but this version is a hearty and easy vegetarian ragù with tomatoes and pasta, replacing the stewed meat with a mix of minced and sliced mushrooms. If you’re looking for a recipe to add to your meatless Monday catalog, this mushroom ragù is a winner.
The mix of minced and sliced mushrooms creates a meaty, hearty sauce that honestly, might be even a bit better than my normal meat-based sauce and starting with a mirepoix aromatics infuses the mushroom ragù with a rich, aromatic flavor.
Looking for more vegetarian recipes? Check my archives!
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Easy Mushroom Ragù with Tomatoes and Pasta
- Food processor
- Large pot
- Large pot
- 16 ounces pasta of your choice tubular pasta works great
- 1 Vidalia onion
- 3 medium carrots
- 3 stalks celery
- 5 cloves garlic
- 12 ounces cremini mushrooms
- 12 ounces shiitake mushrooms
- 4 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil divided
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup white wine or vegetable stock
- ½ cup vegetable stock or water
- 2 14.5- ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 14.5- ounce can crushed tomatoes
- Salt pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste
- Pinch of sugar
- Peel the onion, carrots, and celery and cut into large pieces. Peel the garlic cloves. Pat the dirt off the mushrooms. Remove the stems from the cremini mushrooms and set aside. Remove the stems from the shiitake mushrooms and discard. Thinly slice half the shiitake mushroom caps. Quarter half of the cremini mushroom caps. Set aside the whole cremini and shiitake caps for the third step.
- Transfer the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
Start the Mushroom Ragù:
- In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons butter or oil over medium high until very hot. Add the chopped vegetables from the food processor and season with salt and pepper. Sautè, stirring often, for 10-12 minutes or until beginning to brown and char. Adjust the heat as necessary to keep the vegetables from browning. Scoop the mixture of the pot and transfer to a bowl.
Prepare the Mushrooms:
- While the mirepoix is cooking, prep the mushrooms. Transfer the cremini stems, the whole cremini caps, and the whole shiitake caps to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
Cook the Mushrooms:
- After you’ve removed the mirepoix, add the remaining butter or oil to the pot. Add the quartered cremini mushrooms and sliced shiitakes and cook for about 8 minutes until beginning to soften and brown. Add in the minced mushrooms from the food processor and season everything in the pot with salt and pepper. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until well-browned all over. (The mushrooms have a lot of liquid to release, so make sure they’ve released all their liquid and most of the liquid in the pot has evaporated.)
Put it All Together:
- Return the heat on the mushrooms to medium-high. Add the mirepoix back to the pot and stir to combine. Add two tablespoons tomato paste and use your spoon to coat the vegetables with the paste.
- Once the paste begins to deepen in color (about 2 minutes), pour in the white wine and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Pour in the vegetable stock, whole-peeled tomatoes, and crushed tomatoes. Taste and season with a touch of salt, pepper, sugar, and crushed red pepper. Do not over-season at this point as the ragù will cook down for a bit.
- Turn the heat to low and cook, partially covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. As the ragù cooks, use your spoon to lightly mash the whole-peeled tomatoes. After 45 minutes, taste the sauce and season to your preferences.
Prepare the Pasta:
- 30 minutes before the ragù is finished, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Reserve ⅓ cup pasta cooking water before draining the pasta.
Finish the Ragù with Tomatoes:
- Stir the reserved pasta cooking water into the mushroom ragù and add the pasta to the pot and toss to coat the pasta in the sauce. Remove from heat.
- Divide the pasta between shallow bowls and sprinkle a bit of pepper over the dish. Enjoy!