Charred Vegetable Ragù


Comfort food takes many forms. For me, it’s a Sunday sauce. One filled with fat tomatoes and that has simmered all day, deepening in flavor, its scent perfuming my home. But on weeknights after work, when I need that slow-cooked comfort most, I want it in a hurry. That’s when I look for a quick but intense cooking method that builds flavor fast.Cue the broiler, which I use to infuse my hearty vegetarian ragù with smoky richness. I set the roughly chopped mirepoix (a combination of yellow onion, celery, and carrots, with some portobellos and garlic for good measure) under the broiler to create a charred crust that adds layers of smoky flavor. Plenty of cremini mushrooms, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and dry red wine round out the sauce on the stove. Ladled over a pile of tagliatelle and topped with more cheese, this nourishing sauce tastes slow-cooked and comforting, especially on a wintry weeknight.

Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs


  • 4 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed and quartered

  • 1 garlic head

  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered

  • 2 celery stalks, cut into thirds

  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into thirds

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 8 ounces fresh cremini mushrooms, stemmed and quartered

  • 1/2 cup tomato paste

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 1/2 cup dry red wine

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 12 ounces uncooked bronze-cut durum wheat tagliatelle pasta (such as Seggiano Organic)

  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup), plus more for serving


  1. Preheat broiler to low with oven rack in middle of oven. Toss together portobellos, garlic, onion, celery, carrots, and 1 tablespoon oil on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread in a single layer. Broil in preheated oven until vegetables are charred in spots, about 20 minutes, rotating pan and flipping vegetables halfway through. Let cool 5 minutes. Squeeze roasted garlic out of skins; discard skins. Transfer garlic and vegetable mixture to a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, about 4 times; set aside.

  2. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high. Add cremini mushrooms; cook until bottoms of mushrooms are browned, about 3 minutes. Stir and cook until browned on all sides, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and oregano; cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add wine; cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in roasted vegetable mixture; season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain, reserving 11/2 cups cooking liquid. Transfer cooked pasta to skillet with sauce, and return to heat over medium. Add cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Stir in reserved cooking liquid, 1/2 cup at a time, until sauce is creamy, about 3 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Divide pasta among 4 warm bowls; top with grated cheese.

    Charred Vegetable Ragu
    Victor Protasio

Make Ahead

Ragù sauce can be prepared, cooled completely, and stored in an air‑tight container in refrigerator up to 3 days.


To make this dish vegan, omit the cheese, or use vegan cheese, such as Violife Just Like Parmesan.

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