This is mushroom ragù is the ultimate dish for mushroom-lovers! It’s perfectly rich and savory thanks to caramelised onions and a mixture of slow-cooked mushrooms in a richly flavourful cherry tomato sauce. This vegetarian ragù makes a hearty plant-based sauce to use over pasta, potatoes, gnocchi, polenta and so much more.
Slow-cooked for deeper flavours
Slow-cooked caramelised onions add a deep, rich, sweet flavour to an otherwise simple tomato sauce. And what’s more, another depth of umami richness is achieved with the addition of dried porcini mushrooms, and a mixture of golden pan-fried mushrooms that are slowly cooked in a cherry tomato sauce made with red wine, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. Although, this recipe takes take a little time to cook, it is worth the extra time on a lazy Sunday, just knowing a delicious dinner waiting for you. And since this recipe calls for half a glass of red wine, its a great excuse pour yourself a glass and and kick back and enjoy the evening.
Which mushrooms to use?
I love to include dried porcini mushrooms as they add a meaty richness and deep mushroom flavour to any sauce. As for fresh mushrooms, I like to use a mix of at least three different types. Simply, choose for favourites or those that are easily available such as:
They boast a deep savory flavor that you just can’t get from white button mushrooms which are very mild.
Basically these are larger cremini (age is the difference here) and they offer an intense umami, earthy taste and meaty element to vegetarian and vegan sauces.
King oyster mushrooms
One of my favorites, these delicacies are aromatic, slightly nutty and earthy. Their savory flavor is also rich in umami.
In the same family, the taste of oyster mushrooms is very mild and delicate. When King oyster aren’t available, I use regular oyster mushrooms.
Shiitake mushrooms also have delicious umami, and are rich, meaty and buttery all in one bite.
How to adapt this Mushroom Ragù recipe
This mushroom ragù is so versatile, which is why I love it so much. Carrots are a great addition, as are kale or potatoes. Or for aubergine fans, how about adding a little peeled and diced eggplant (peeling it is my favourite way to hide it while letting its flavour shine). You could even slow cook this sauce longer to further deepen the flavours. If you are using a Dutch oven, you could even do this in the oven and slow-cook it like you would a roast.
Looking for other mushroom recipe inspiration?
Try one of these favourites:
- Green Spelt Salad with Mushrooms & Miso Dressing
- Japanese Mushroom Donburi (Rice Bowl)
- Warm Mushroom Barley Salad with Herbs
- Mushroom Stroganoff
- Zurich Ragout (Zürcher Geschnetzeltes) with Turkey
- 15 g dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced (ca. 350g)
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 750 g mixed mushrooms (e.g. cremini, oyster, king trumpet, shiitake)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 100 ml dry red wine
- 500 ml vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 x 400 g can cherry tomatoes (e.g. Mutti brand)
- 1/2 small bunch flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- Your choice of pasta, potatoes, gnocchi, polenta or other favourite
- Freshly grated parmesan (optional)
In a small bowl, add the dried porcini and cover with 125 ml boiling water. Set aside to soak for at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium until butter is melted. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender and deeply golden brown, 30-35 minutes (stopping before the onions become too dry).
While the onions cook, fry the mushrooms in batches. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add a couple handfuls of the mushroom and fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 5–7 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining mushrooms.
Add the tomato paste, smoked paprika and cayenne to the pot with onions and stir for one minute. Then add the fried mushrooms and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
Increase the heat to medium-high, add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the vegetable broth, bay leaves, rehydrated porcini mushrooms and their soaking liquid (drained through a fine mesh sieve), tomatoes and 1/2 a cup (125 ml) water.
Bring to a boil, cover with a lid and reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 60 minutes, stirring every 15 min. After 30 minutes, adjust the lid so that it is partially covering the pot so that the sauce can further reduce and thicken. Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves; season additional with salt and pepper, to taste.
When ready to serve, add the parsley to the sauce and stir to combine.
Serve over pasta or your other choice with a little grated parmesan to garnish, if desired.
For a relaxing atmosphere in the kitchen I recommend my personal Elle Republic: Chilled Out Kitchen Tunes Playlist on Spotify.
Did you try this recipe?
How did you like it?
Please let me know how this Mushroom Ragù recipe turned out for you! I would love to hear how you liked it. Simply rate it with the stars above ⭐ or leave me a comment and rate it below.
Did you make any changes to this recipe?
If you have tips for other readers, let me know! It helps me and other readers so much. Sharing is Caring :-).
This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through my link, Amazon will pay me a commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional and the price remains the same. More about advertisements on Elle Republic.