Mushroom ragout and root vegetable pappardelle

Mushroom Ragout

A lovely warming autumnal dish

Pappardelle are large, very broad, flat pasta noodles, similar to wide fettuccine. The name derives from the verb “pappare”, to gobble up. The fresh types may have fluted edges and are typically served with a meat sauce.

Put 15g dried mushrooms into a bowl, pour enough boiling warm water over them to cover and leave for 10 minutes, until rehydrated. Cut 4 medium sized field mushrooms into small cubes and 4 chestnut mushrooms into slices or quarters. Peel and crush 1 garlic clove. Warm 5 tbsp oil in a casserole, add the garlic and then, as it begins to soften, the field mushrooms. Let them cook over a moderate heat for about 10 minutes, until they are dark and soft. Add 8 small sprigs of thyme then the hydrated mushrooms and their soaking water. Leave to cook, on a low heat, for a good 20 minutes.

To make the vegetable pappardelle, peel 2 large carrots and 2 large parsnips then, using a vegetable peeler, shave them into long strips. Warm 40g butter in a shallow pan, add the strips of carrot and parsnip and let them cook for 7-10 minutes, until tender but not soft. Season with salt, pepper and 2 tbsp chopped parsley.

Stir 2 tbsp mascarpone into the ragout and check the seasoning. Pile the tangle of vegetables on to warm plates or in shallow bowls, spoon the mushroom ragout on top, and serve.

c. Nigel Slater