I did a lot of research before attempting to create my own ragu. It seems everyone has their own method to get that perfectly creamy sauce. I decided in the end on two musts- using whole fat cream and butter. The recipe really just isn’t the same without it. In the end (after then counting how many calories would be in one bite-YIKES) I decided to tweak it one more time, subbing half the cream for non fat greek yogurt. I don’t claim that this is now a healthy recipe but it’s the best of both worlds. It came out wonderfully as the tang in the yogurt adds that something extra to break up the richness of the cream. I often use it as my go to “impress the guest” dish. Another way to help fight the richness is pairing this dish with Swiss Chard which has a more bitter, hardy bite to it and is so delicious. It has become my favorite vegetable side dish and it literally takes minutes to make.
**I know a traditional ragôut is meat based- this is a vegetarian version with “meaty” mushrooms.
30 minutes, serves 3-5
1 lb pasta (fettucini or pappardelle work best)
1/2-lb Cremini Mushrooms (whole foods usually sells them by the pound)
2 packages of variety pack of wild mushrooms (usually contains mix of Oyster, Chanterelle, Porcini, and Morchella)
1 small-med onion
1-2 cups heavy cream
1/2-1 cup non fat greek yogurt (Fage is my favorite; it’s creamy and perfect to cook with)
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese (freshly grated is best)
2 tbsp dry white wine
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup vegetable stock or chicken stock
olive oil, sea salt, and fresh ground black pepper
Warm a large pan (my trusty cast iron frying pan) on med heat with about a tbsp of olive oil and the butter.
Finely chop the onion and sautee until very translucent. Chop the mushrooms (finely-medium) and add them to the pan. Turn the heat up and stir often for about 1 minute. Add the wine and a a splash of stock. You should hear a nice sizzle and steam. Turn the heat down to medium and keep cooking for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and glossy and each piece has distinctly rounded edges. Add a tsp of salt and as much freshly ground black pepper as your heart desires.
Start a pot of boiling water for your pasta and add a little olive oil- it helps keep the pasta from getting sticky.
Turn the heat to low and continue to stir for about 1 minute. Add 1 cup cream to the pan little by little, stirring continuously. *this part is important because if you add cream to a too hot pan, you risk curdling the cream so keep it on low and stir often!*
Drop your pasta
Once all the cream is added turn the heat up slightly and add 1/2 cup of the greek yogurt, stirring continuously. Don’t be alarmed if there are a few clumps at this point, they will melt away. Cook while stirring for about 5 minutes and the cream should begin to thicken. If you want a saucier ragu, add the rest of the cream like you did before and the rest of the greek yogurt.
Lower the heat and continue to cook the ragu for another 7-10 minutes stirring only occasionally. You can add a little bit of flour to help thicken the sauce if it’s not cooperating (been there…) [at this point you can also cook your swiss chard so everything is done at the same time-see below for instructions]
When the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon, add a splash of the pasta water and the cheese and turn off the heat. Season to taste.
Drain your pasta and plate. If you want to get fancy, top with shredded cheese and parsley.
Garlic Swiss Chard
5-10 minutes, serves 3-4
One bunch of Swiss Chard (It cooks down like spinach does so feel free to grab more if you want large portions of veggies)
1 clove of garlic
Splash of wine wine
olive oil, sea salt, fresh ground black pepper
Heat a pan on med, add olive.
Chop or grate you garlic and add to the pan
Remove the stems from the bunch of Swiss Chard and roughly chop the leaves, add them to the pan.
Stir to coat the leaves in olive oil and add a splash of white wine.
Cook down until tender and dark green and plate