For a delicious umami burst of mushroom flavour coating smooth, silky fresh pasta, torn into rustic pieces, this simple Italian vegetarian ragu is pure perfection on a plate. I discovered this treasure travelling around Italy, in a small town called Macerata - an unassuming dish, that packs a flavour like no other. Learn how simple and effective a few mushrooms can be!
Simplicity - the essence of Italian food
It's always the same in Italy - a dish looks so ordinary in appearance that when you taste that first mouthful you once again realise you've been duped. HOW CAN THIS POSSIBLY BE SO DELICIOUS!? I can't do the taste justice with words to be honest - the earthy umami hit of the mushrooms infused with the fresh herbs and sharp salty cheese is something else.
The simplicity of the fresh pasta, just torn into small pieces and tossed with the mushrooms was as honest as it gets, but it sure did leave a lasting impression in that restaurant in Italy, so much so that I replicated it upon my return (pretty damn closely!) and have been making it ever since.
Stuff you'll need
There's a full recipe below, but the key flavours in this dish are few. Each brings something special to the party.
- Mushrooms - I mostly use brown mushrooms, but regular will do.
- Dried porcini mushrooms - this amps up the mushroom flavour and adds a big hit of umami.
- Wine & Stock - Adds a little complexity and depth to the sauce.
- Fresh Oregano - Herbs add a fragrant note to the sauce. I'll sometimes use fresh sage, marjoram, tarragon or thyme as substitutes.
- Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese - For extra salty umami flavours, added at the end it finished the dis perfectly.
Make your own pasta from scratch
You'll need to make a batch of fresh pasta, or buy fresh pasta sheets from the supermarket. My handy, helpful guide will show you how to make the perfect pasta at home every time.