Prep Time: 30 minutes + 30 minutes resting time
Cooking Time: +- 30 minutes
Serves: 4
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mushroom ragu and pappardelle
This mushroom ragu is such a winner. I’ve made it dozens of times.  And when cooking with such beautiful mushrooms, one really should go the extra mile and make homemade pappardelle pasta to go along with it. It is so easy. No pasta machine needed.  And if you’re not into pasta, serve with creamy truffle oil infused mashed potatoes and lemony green beans. Deliciousness!

Creamy Wild Mushroom Ragu with homemade Pappardelle

Ingredients:

Pappardelle:
400 g coarse/stone ground white flour
pinch of salt
4 large eggs
1 large egg, beaten (extra)

Ragu:
700 g fresh mixed exotic mushrooms, roughly chopped or quartered
25 g dried exotic mushrooms soaked in 60 ml hot water
2 T (30 ml) butter
1 T (15 ml) vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 fat clove garlic, crushed
1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 T (15 ml) sherry
1 T (15 ml) white wine vinegar
¼ c (60 ml) chicken stock
1 t ( 5 ml) dried tarragon
½ t (2.5 ml) dried thyme
1 bay leaf
½ c (125 ml) Crème fraiche
Chopped Italian parsley for garnishing
Parmesan infused olive oil

Method:
Pappardelle pasta:
Place the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center.
Add the 4 eggs in the well. Slowly incorporate some flour into the egg well and continue doing so until all the egg has combined with flour.
The mixture should start coming together to form a dough. If it is too dry, add the extra beaten egg.
Divide dough in half (this makes it easier for kneading) and knead each dough mixture on a floured surface for about 5 minutes until it becomes smooth, elastic and not sticky at all. Cover each one with cling wrap and rest for 15 minutes.
After resting, roll the dough (one by one) out on a well-floured surface with a rolling pin until you get a very thin rectangular shape. Roll shortest end upwards into a sausage shape and slice into 20 cm pieces. Unroll the pieces to get pappardelle and hang over a floured rack while preparing the rest of the pasta.

Ragu:
In a large heavy based pot, heat the butter and oil and brown the mushrooms in 3 batches. Season well with salt (this helps extract excess moisture). Remove from the pot.
Add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery to the pot and sauté until softened and fragrant. Add the sherry and vinegar and fry for 2 minutes.
Add the browned mushrooms back the pot. Strain the soaked mushrooms (reserving the 60 ml of liquid) and squeeze excess liquid out. Add to the pot together with the herbs and sauté for a minute.
Add the reserved 60 ml and the 60 ml chicken stock and simmer gently uncovered for +- 15 minutes. Now add the crème fraiche and simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Finish off:
Place the pappardelle on a large pot of well salted boiling water and boil for +- 3 minutes or until the pasta rises to the surface and it’s al dente. Remove from the water and toss with some parmesan infused oil.
Serve mushroom ragu on a generous bed of pappardelle. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and drizzle with parmesan infused oil.

This recipe was developed for Crush online magazine Midweek meals Issue 40

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