Perfect Pasta: Mushroom Ragout Casarecce
Mushroom Ragout Casarecce
Two inches long, rolled like a scroll and with two side slits, casarecce—“homemade” in Italian and originally from Sicily—is an ideal pasta shape for catching a sauce perfectly. I paired it with a quick and deliciously simple, meaty mushroom ragout.
The mushrooms came from my favorite stand at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market, which I visit religiously every Sunday. I was looking for different shapes and textures, so I picked up brown button mushrooms, oyster mushrooms and shimeji. This recipe is flexible and works with different types of mushrooms—but if basic white mushroom are your only choice, that’s fine, too. The sauce is finished by adding heavy cream infused with lemon zest, fresh oregano and nutmeg.
- Serves 4
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup yellow onion, peeled, diced
- 1 garlic clove, peeled, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 10 ounces fresh mushrooms (such as oyster, shimeji or brown button), cleaned, chopped (about 3 cups)
- 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Black pepper to taste, freshly ground
- 12 ounces casarecce or penne pasta
- Place the heavy cream in a small pot and cook over medium-low heat until thick and reduced in volume, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and mix in the oregano, salt, nutmeg and lemon zest. Set aside.
- Bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain well and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper flakes, and sauté, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, 2 tablespoons water, and sauté, stirring frequently, until soft, about 6–8 minutes.
- Add the cream to the mushrooms and cook until tender, about 3 more minutes. Stir in the parsley. Add black pepper to taste, and taste for salt. Mix the sauce with the pasta and serve.