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Rigatoni with Creamy Mushroom Ragu

Rigatoni with Creamy Mushroom Ragu


  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 pound rigatoni rigate

  • A generous handful of dried porcini mushrooms

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or water (for vegetarians)

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 3/4 pound crimini or mixed fresh mushrooms of your choice, sliced

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1 small carrot, grated

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped

  • 7-8 sage leaves, thinly sliced

  • 1 large  bay leaf

  • 1/4 cup tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine or dry white wine

  • A generous handful of grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


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 starchy cooking water.

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

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

Meanwhile, in another saucepan, heat the milk to barely a simmer. Remove from the heat; cover. Add the carrot, onion, garlic, thyme, sage and bay leaf to the cooked criminis; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute. Stir in the Marsala, porcinis, 1 cup of the porcini stock and the milk; simmer.

Add the pasta and reserved starchy cooking water to the sauce. Stir in the cheese.