This creamy, flavorful pasta dish makes a hearty and satisfying meatless main course. Sherry, fresh thyme and tomatoes balance with the rich mushroom flavors to create a distinctly different kind of red sauce. The richness from the cream makes grated cheese unnecessary, but a few grinds of fresh black pepper make a nice finishing touch. Serve with a salad.Print
Rigatoni with Creamy Mushroom Ragu
Rigatoni tossed with a rich and flavorful sauce of mushrooms, sherry, tomatoes, fresh thyme and cream makes a satisfying main dish. Serve with a salad for a complete dinner.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- 1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
- 1/2 lb white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 large shallots, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup sherry
- 1-1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 12 ounces rigatoni
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and shallots and cook until soft and fragrant, 1 minute. Do not brown. Add the mushrooms (see notes) and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Add the sherry and cook until partially evaporated, scraping up any browned bits that have accumulated on the bottom of the pan, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, soy sauce and thyme leaves. Continue cooking, 5 to 6 minutes longer, stirring frequently. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain.
- Stir the cream and fresh parsley into the sauce, cook for 1 minute and combine with the pasta.
To brown the mushrooms properly avoid overcrowding the pan. Work in two batches if necessary.
The addition of a small amount of soy sauce subtly intensifies the flavors of the mushrooms.