Mushroom ragu on pappardelle with zesty gremolata

Put a vegetarian twist on the traditionally meat-based Italian ragu with this rich and flavoursome mushroom recipe. Served with pappardelle and topped with a zingy homemade gremolata, this dish is an all-round winner.

By Jo Wilcox
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 15 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 600 g mixed mushrooms (we used Swiss brown, button and flat), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 bayleaf and 1 sprig rosemary
  • Sea salt
  • 4 portions cooked pappardelle pasta or similar
  • 1 cup parsley leaves
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 170°C.
  • 2
    Heat olive oil in a large frying pan on medium-low heat and sauté onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes until just coloured then add the paprika, cumin seeds and mushrooms and sauté for 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms begin to soften.
  • 3
    Add the wine and let it evaporate then add the tinned tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, chilli sauce and herbs.
  • 4
    Transfer to an ovenproof casserole dish and cook in oven for 1 hour then remove the lid and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, allowing the sauce to reduce and thicken slightly. Season to taste with sea salt and cracked pepper.
  • 5
    For the gremolata, finely chop or whiz together the parsley, zest and garlic.
  • 6
    Serve ragu with hot pasta and top with the herby gremolata.