About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Jan

Jan is a serious home cook who loves to read recipes and then do her own thing. Her focus is ingredient driven comfort food, often with an Italian influence. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about food and travels (next trip to Italy: May/June of 2012) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Kim

Kim joins us after being our permanent sub on the Pomodori e Vino project. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think or The Amy Foundation.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

Our Subs

About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Amy

Amy is a teacher in suburban Boston with far too many cookbooks, her Grandmother's meat grinder and canning jars, and a new Wolf stove. She appreciates cuisines from around the world, with a particular fondness for French, Moroccan, Italian, Vietnamese, and Indian cooking. Tweaking her cooking and eating habits resulted long-lasting weight loss and health benefits, proving that living well still tastes good. An old hobby is knitting; and a newer one is canning preserves. Read more from Amy on her blog, Destination Anywhere.

« Grilled Mushroom, Swiss Cheese and Truffle Oil Sandwich | Main | Portobello-Gorgonzola Appetizers »

Shitake Mushroom Ragu

By Jan


I saw these beautiful shitakes for sale, from the good folks at , Turkey Hill Farms at the Farmers Market and I couldn’t resist.

I wanted to add some dried mushrooms and had some Paddystraw in my pantry so I went with those. They worked well because their flavor was delicate enough not to mask the shitakes.

This makes enough for about 1/2 pound of pasta, for 4 small first course servings. I used spaghetti but fettuccine would work great. Put up the pasta water first so you can time the pasta being done right around the same time as the sauce.


1/2 pound shitake
4oz. Dried and reconstituted mushrooms (liquid reserved)
1tbs each extra virgin olive oil and butter
1 med. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 tbs. brandy
1 tbs sliced fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup reserved mushroom water
1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup grated parmigiano cheese.

Cook onions slowly in butter and oil with a pinch of salt, about 8 min. Add garlic for few more minutes. Add shitakes—saute for about 3 min. Add brandy to deglaze pan. Add reserved mushrooms, broth and liquid. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer for about 20 min.


Just before serving add cream, grated cheese and sage leaves.

Put the hot, drained pasta into the pan with the sauce and toss for about 2 minutes.


Serve and enjoy. We drank a simple Orvieto Classico with it and it worked well.

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Comments (3)

Oh, that all looks spectacular. I would love love love to sit down to a dinner of this. Thank you for the pairing suggestion as well. Mushroom week is going to be a good good week!

Looks delicious, Jan. And so easy. The spaghetti is a perfect pasta for this dish, I think.

Yum! What better combination than pasta and mushrooms.

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