Our tagliatelle with mushroom ragu and Swiss chard screams Mediterranean food and is filled with meaty mushrooms, savory tomato paste, luscious olive oil, healthy Swiss chard, and buttery pine nuts. A fabulous pasta night dish!
What is Ragu?
Ragu is an Italian meat sauce that is commonly served with pasta. Ragu is usually a thicker sauce since it uses less tomato sauce than its cousin, the Bolognese sauce. We, of course, made a healthier and vegan version of this traditional sauce using mushrooms instead of meat. Mushrooms give this ragu a meaty texture without the extra saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. We used baby Bella mushrooms, but you can use your favorite mushroom combo. Wild mushrooms, as well as shiitake, would be delicious in the recipe.
What is the Difference Between Ragu and Ragout?
Ragu is an Italian pasta sauce made with tomatoes, vegetables, and usually ground or minced meat. Our version is Vegan and includes mushrooms instead of meat! Ragout is a French stew that might be served over pasta but might also be served over polenta or couscous. It is equally delicious but completely different. A ragout is slow-cooked and may or may not contain tomatoes, depending on the recipe.
What is the Difference Between Tagliatelle and Fettuccine?
I thought it was a simple question to answer until I started doing some research. Some say that tagliatelle and fettuccine are the exact same thing, but they are called differently depending on what part of Italy they are made from. Others say that tagliatelle is a wider-cut version of fettuccine.
Regardless of the name, for our pasta recipe, we used a wide pasta labeled tagliatelle and topped it with this fabulous mushroom ragu with Swiss chard and pine nuts. You can use whatever pasta you have, even a bean-based high protein pasta if you wish.
Ingredients for Mushroom Ragu Recipe
- Tagliatelle Pasta. If you can't find vegan tagliatelle, you can use fettuccine or any other flat pasta)
- Organic Tomato Paste. This adds intense tomato flavor and sweetness.
- Basil. Freshly chopped basil is best.
- Baby Bella Mushrooms. You can sub this with a different mushroom if these cannot be found.
- Rainbow Swiss Chard. This leafy vegetable, similar to kale, adds a beautiful depth of flavor to the sauce. You can use spinach instead if you prefer.
- Toasted Pine Nuts. Finish off your pasta with a nice nutty crunch.
How to Make Mushroom Ragu
The first step to making an amazing ragu is to boil your pasta in a large pot to "al dente" and save one cup of the pasta water before you drain the pasta. Al dente means "to the tooth" and implies a tiny bit of firmness or bite to the pasta. You don't want it soft and smushy.
While the pasta is cooking, you can start sauteeing the other ingredients in a skillet. Once all the ingredients are added to the skillet, add the reserved pasta water liquid. This forms the sauce. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss it really, really well. Mix in the Swiss chard off the heat, and add the pine nuts as you serve the mushroom ragu pasta. Salt and pepper to taste.
Make Ahead Tips for Mushroom Ragu
You can definitely do a few things to make this mushroom ragu recipe easier on the night you want to serve it. First, you can rinse, dry, and dice up the mushrooms really small. Place these in a plastic bag in your refrigerator. Second, you can rinse, dry, and chop the Swiss chard. Place this in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.
Finally, you can indeed make the entire sauce without the pasta water ahead of time. Refrigerate or freeze it for up to three months in an airtight container. When ready for the meal, cook your pasta and reserve one cup of pasta water. Partially thaw the ragu in your microwave, and then add it to a skillet with the pasta and water to finish heating through. Your mushroom ragu recipe is ready to serve!
Can you make ragu sauce without wine?
Yes. Our ragu sauce is wine-free and tastes amazing! Using the cooking water as the liquid source adds just the right amount of starch and flavor to the rich sauce.
Can you freeze ragu?
Yes. To freeze the ragu sauce by itself, let it cool completely and place it in an airtight container. Freeze and keep for up to three months. To freeze ragu sauce mixed with pasta, separate it into individual serving amounts and freeze it for up to three months in an airtight container.
How do I store vegan ragu?
Keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days, or freeze it as described above.
What mushrooms should I use for mushroom ragu?
We used Baby Bella Mushrooms (Cremini mushrooms). You can use different types of mushrooms, such as white mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, chanterelle mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, or any fresh mushrooms from your supermarket.
Other Pasta Recipes You Must Try:
- Rigatoni with lentil bolognese
- Penne Pasta With Vegan Cauliflower & Kale Walnut Pesto
- Mushroom And Veggie Sausage Pasta
- High Protein Caprese Pasta Salad
- High Protein Pasta Puttanesca
- Pea and Artichoke Pasta
- One-Pot Chickpea And Butternut Squash Pasta
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Our tagliatelle with mushroom ragu and Swiss chard screams Mediterranean food, and is filled with meaty mushrooms, savory tomato paste, luscious olive oil, healthy Swiss chard and buttery pine nuts. A fabulous pasta night dish!
- 6oz tagliatelle pasta (if you can't find vegan tagliatelle you can use fettuccine or any other flat pasta)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1-6oz can organic tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp chopped basil
- ⅛ tsp salt (or to taste) (See Note)
- 8oz baby bella mushrooms, chopped small
- 1-2 cups chopped rainbow Swiss chard (to taste)
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- Vegan parmesan cheese or regular ( optional)
- Cook the pasta following the directions on the package, leaving it slightly "al dente" and saving 1 cup of pasta water
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the tomato paste, garlic, basil and salt, and cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring constantly
- Add the chopped mushrooms, mixing well so they're well coated with the tomato paste. Continue cooking for another 2 minutes
- Slowly, stir in 1 cup of pasta water, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add the pasta, toss well and cook for another 5 minutes
- Turn off the heat, add the Swiss chard and mix well (the heat from the pasta will wilt the chard)
- Top with toasted pine nuts and grated parmesan cheese (if using) right before serving
- Because you will be adding pasta water to the sauce, which is already salty, add more or less salt according to your taste.
This post was originally published on February 12, 2020
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
- Serving Size: ½ the recipe
- Calories: 557
- Sugar: 15.1
- Sodium: 250
- Fat: 18.4
- Saturated Fat: 2.7
- Unsaturated Fat: 14.4
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 84.7
- Fiber: 9
- Protein: 19
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: pasta, mushrooms, ragu, plant-based, tomato