Potato Gnocchi with Mushroom Ragù
Richard Betts is an avid mushroom forager: "Mushrooms are a great expression of terroir, just like wine is." Using a recipe from Jennifer Biesty, a contestant on Top Chef, he sautes them with garlic to top his plump, intensely potatoey gnocchi.
Veal Ragù with Porcini
In the relatively brief time it takes for the veal chunks to become fork-tender in a pressure cooker (25 minutes versus 2 hours of conventional cooking), the carrot, onions and sage melt into a heavenly sauce.
Hearty Lamb Ragù with Rigatoni
It doesn't get more delicious than this pasta dish with lamb ragù.
Cavatelli with Sparerib Ragù
This hearty ragu, from chef Josh Laurano of Manhattan's La Sirena, features both little riblets and tender chunks of sparerib meat in a rich tomato sauce. Adding pork skin to the sauce makes it extra luscious, perfect with a glass of tangy Tuscan red, like the Fattoria Fibbiano L'Aspetto that sommelier Luke Boland pours at the restaurant.
Pappardelle with Lamb Ragu
Andrew Carmellini serves fresh pappardelle with a ragu of house-ground lamb shoulder cooked in lamb stock. He finishes the dish with fresh ricotta and chopped mint.
Chicken Thigh Ragù with Pappardelle
Most ragus require beef, pork or veal--meats that would overwhelm Justin Smillie's light tomato-and-olive sauce here--so he opts for guinea hen or rabbit. Chicken thighs are also tasty and easier to find.
Mustard Salmon with Cannellini Bean Ragù
These rustic cannellini beans don't cook for very long, but they have a rich, rustic flavor because they're simmered with prosciutto and escarole. Along with the mustard-and-garlic-glazed salmon, it's a great one-dish meal.
Potato Gnocchi with Wild Mushroom Ragù and Hazelnuts
This mushroom-and-herb ragu is extremely versatile; it's as good on rigatoni or cheese ravioli as it is on gnocchi.
Baked Potatoes with Wild Mushroom Ragù
Grace Parisi likes using a mix of shiitake, oyster, chanterelle and button mushrooms for this succulent ragu to top baked potatoes, but any combination will work.
Pappardelle with Tangy Veal Ragù
Balsamic vinegar and red wine add a tangy bite to the hearty veal ragu. Have your butcher tie the veal shanks once around the center so they will hold together while browning.
Rigatoni with Pork Ragù and Fresh Ricotta
This deeply flavored ragu would make a delicious dish just tossed with pasta, but paired with sweet, fresh ricotta, it's outstanding. Sheep's milk ricotta from the countryside outside Rome can be mail-ordered from Buonitalia in New York City's Chelsea Market (212-633-9090).
Potato Gnocchi with Pastrami Ragù
Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone put a clever twist on their gnocchi recipe by using deli pastrami in the sauce. Feel free to use it on any kind of pasta.