Filed Under: Dinner, dinner recipe, Pasta, pasta recipe, ragu, Sauce

Farfalle with Mushroom and Tomato Ragu

A ragù refers to a slow-cooked Italian meat sauce...while it is a little misleading, it is because of the depth of flavour the mushrooms give the sauce.

October 11th, 2016

Chef Adam Vettorel of North & Navy
From Ottawa Cooks by Anne DesBrisay

Chef says: The pasta water is an important element in this dish. At the restaurant we cook a lot of pasta and we take advantage of all the starch in the pasta water to thicken our sauces. At home you can create this effect by putting a small handful of semolina in the water when you add the salt.
Serves 4 to 6
  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into cubes + 2 tbsp for cooking mushrooms
  • 12 oz wild mushrooms (chanterelles, morels and porcini, or use oyster mushrooms, torn into large chunks, 4 to 5 per person), carefully cleaned
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 6 perfect fresh basil leaves, for garnish
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. With a small sharp knife, score the bottom of the tomatoes with an X. Dunk tomatoes in the boiling water for 30 seconds, drain them and plunge them in the ice water to stop the cooking and loosen the skins. Peel and discard the tomato skins. Set the tomatoes aside.

  2. Bring a large pot with heavily salted water to a boil.

  3. In another large saucepan big enough to hold the ragù and the cooked pasta, melt 2 Tbsp of the butter over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper to taste and cook until mushrooms are browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomatoes and season again, to taste.

  4. Drop the farfalle into the rapidly boiling water. It will take 4 to 5 minutes to cook. Return to the ragù, keeping an eye on the pasta while it cooks.

  5. Once the garlic begins to colour slightly, add wine and reduce by half. As wine reduces, check the pasta for doneness. When the farfalle are about 80% cooked (nearly al dente but still a bit chewy), stir the cubes of butter into the sauce, drain all but 1/2 cup of the pasta boiling water, then add the farfalle and reserved pasta water to the sauce (the starch in the water will help to thicken and emulsify the sauce). As soon as the last cube of butter melts, season the pasta and sauce to taste and remove from the heat.

  6. Divide the farfalle and ragù evenly among four to six individual bowls. Garnish with basil and Parmesan and serve immediately.

Farfalle with Mushroom and Tomato Ragu
Christian Lalonde

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