Wild Mushroom Ragout

Nearly any variety or combination of wild mushrooms—like shiitakes, oyster mushrooms or chanterelles—will be terrific here; cultivated cremini and portobellos are great too. If you choose portobellos, use a small spoon to scrape away the dark brown gills, since they impart an inky color and murky flavor.

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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: makes about 2 cups

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  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/4 pounds mixed mushrooms, such as shiitake and oyster—stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
  • 1/4 cup Madeira or Marsala
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate; leave the fat in the skillet.

  2. Add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and softened, about 8 minutes. Add the shallot and thyme and cook, stirring, until the shallot is softened. Add the Madeira and cook until evaporated, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the cream, season with salt and pepper and simmer until the ragout is slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the pancetta.


More Saucy Ideas: The ragout can be stirred into pasta or risotto, folded into omelets, spooned onto crostini or poured over polenta.

Master Sauce recipe adapted from Get Saucy, by Grace Parisi, copyright ©2005, with permission from Harvard Common Press, 535 Albany St., Boston, MA 02118.

Contributed By Published March 2005

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