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Portabella Mushroom, Hot and Sweet Pepper Ragu with Pappardelle

Portabella Mushroom, Hot and Sweet Pepper Ragu with Pappardelle


  • 2 Italian red cherry peppers or 2 large Fresno chile peppers

  • 1 large or 2 medium red bell peppers

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1/4 pound pancetta or guanciale, chopped into batons

  • 4-5 portabella mushroom caps, gills scraped, sliced

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh sage

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme

  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh marjoram or oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried

  • 4 large cloves garlic, sliced

  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine

  • One can whole D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes (32 ounces)

  • 1 pound pappardelle

  • Pecorino cheese, grated, for serving


Pre-heat the broiler and char the red cherry and bell peppers until evenly blackened. Place in a bowl and cover to cool. Peel and seed the peppers. Finely dice the red cherry peppers, and then chop the red bell peppers into 1/4-inch dice. Meanwhile, heat the EVOO in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the pancetta to render, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and cook until dark and tender, 12-15 minutes. Add the rosemary, sage, thyme, marjoram, garlic, onions and some salt and black pepper and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and roasted peppers. Deglaze with the wine and cook until reduced by half, scraping reducing up the bits on the bottom of the pan, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down, 30 minutes. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pappardelle to al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the starchy cooking water before draining, and tossing the pasta with the sauce and the cooking water 1 minute. To serve, combine the pasta with lots of grated pecorino, passing more at the table, for topping. Cook's Note: For a make-ahead meal, cool and store the ragu. Reheat over medium heat, cooking the pasta right before serving.