Pappardelle mushroom ragu

WILD MUSHROOM ragout with pappardelle

A pasta dish which screams autumn. Use hand picked wild mushrooms if you can get hold of them. You’ll notice just how meaty and nutty they are.

15g dried wild mushrooms
150g wild mushrooms (chanterelle/hedgehog/oyster/shittake) 
2 cloves of garlic 
2 shallots
Small handful of thyme leaves, picked 
Handful of fresh parsley 
30g knob of butter 
180ml white wine 
Half a chicken stock cube in 100ml water 
200g fresh (or homemade) pappardelle pasta 

The first thing to do for this recipe is to make the mushroom stock. Dried mushrooms are essential for this pasta, and for most mushroom dishes for that matter. Take your dried mushrooms, tear any large ones in half and pop into a measuring jug. Add 300ml of boiling water and set aside.

Put a large frying pan on the hob and take it to a medium heat. Finely slice the garlic cloves then add the knob of butter to the pan along with the garlic. Fry the garlic for 2-3 minutes until it starts to caramelise. Add the fresh mushrooms to the pan, breaking the larger ones in half with your hands as you go, and chucking the little ones in whole. 

Turn the hob up to a high heat and fry the mushrooms for a couple more minutes, continuously tossing until the pan starts to smoke a little. As soon as this happens, add the white wine and picked thyme. Simmer for 5 minutes before adding the mushroom stock, chicken stock and plenty of salt and pepper. Leave to cook for 15 minutes. 

Whilst the ragout it simmering, cook your fresh pappardelle in boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove from the water using a slotted spoon and put straight into the ragout. Don’t worry if a little of the pasta water comes with it, it’ll just make the sauce extra silky. Finely chop the parsley and stir it through the pasta. Top with Parmesan shavings if you’re a cheese fan. I like it with just a sprinkling.