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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


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.