We are not vegetarians or vegans in our home. But that does not stop us from devouring a brilliantly tasting no meat dish like this easy and super delicious vegetarian and vegan friendly meal. It is quite satisfying even for meat eaters. The baby bella mushrooms have a meaty texture making this a very hearty dish. I used vodka in the recipe but you can easily substitute white wine. Enhancing the dish with ground cinnamon and nutmeg worked perfectly. I hope you will try this recipe and enjoy as much as we do. Happy Cooking!
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Mushroom Rigatoni Ragu [Vodka]
An easy super delish vegetarian and vegan friendly dish well suited for lunch or dinner.
- 1 pound rigatoni pasta cooked according to package direction, but 2 minutes less than al dente. (Reserve 1 cup pasta water to add to sauce)
FOR THE MUSHROOM SAUCE:
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red onion peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic pressed or finely minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh oregano finely chopped
- 1 pound baby bella mushrooms cleaned and sliced thinly.
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 tomatoes vine ripened or 4 plum tomatoes. Peeled and chopped.
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup vodka can sub white wine
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives chopped
- 1 cup pasta water
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt or kosher (adjust for your diet). I use this amount of salt to season dish as I cook each step.
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper I use this amount of pepper to season dish as I cook each step.
Simultaneously cook the pasta while making the sauce. Cook according to package direction, but 2 minutes less than the al dente recommended time.
LET'S COOK THE RAGU SAUCE:
Heat the olive oil in a 5-quart heavy bottom pot, like a dutch oven. Use medium heat.
Saute the onions for 5 to 7 minutes until soft. Do not brown the onions. Stir a couple of times during the cooking.
Note: If the onions starts to brown, reduce the heat.
Season onions with a pinch of the salt. Add the oregano, garlic and sliced mushrooms. And sprinkle in a generous amount of the freshly ground black pepper. Stir and cook 5 to 6 minutes until cooked and any liquid released is absorbed. The mushrooms will reduce to about 1/2.
Note: I used medium high heat to cook the mushrooms and stir/mix a couple of times during the cooking.
Season the cooked mushrooms with a generous amount of the salt and some more black pepper. Stir.
Add in the tomato paste and stir to incorporate with the mushrooms onion mixture.
Add in the chopped tomatoes. Season with the remaining salt and black pepper.
Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Stir/Mix. Cook 8 to 10 minutes until the tomatoes break down. Stir once or twice during cooking.
Add in the Worcestershire sauce and vodka. Stir and cook until reduced to half.
Add in 2 tablespoons of the freshly chopped parsley and 1 tablespoon chopped chives.
Pour in 1 cup pasta water. Stir. Bring to a boil. Cook 2 to 3 minutes using medium heat.
Add in the pasta. Stir/mix. Cover with a tight lid and cook 2 to 3 minutes.
Note: The pasta will cook though to perfect al dente and it will absorb some of the sauce.
Turn off the stove and add 1 more tablespoon of the fresh parsley.
Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with remaining parsley and chives. Enjoy!
Tutorial Video Available: Mushroom Rigatoni Ragu [Vodka]
Nutritional Information will vary depending on actual serving sizes.