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Pappardelle with Madeira Mushroom Ragout, Burrata and Cress

19 February 2022

This is one hell of a vegetarian dish: the Madeira mushroom sauce is rich and full of flavour, the mushrooms are caramelised and juicy, the burrata adds an extra creamy layer and the little cress leaves are peppery and fresh. So good!

For vegan just leave out the burrata, super tasty as well!

Pappardelle with Madeira Mushroom Ragout, Burrata and Cress

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Dinner Italian, Portuguese
By Saffron Serves: 2-3
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 35 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 200 g dried pappardelle or tagliatelle
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 g butter, divided
  • 2 small onions or shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 30 g dried porcini
  • 250 ml hot water to soak the porcini mushrooms in
  • 300 - 400 g fresh mushrooms of choice (I used chestnut mushrooms, king oyster mushrooms)
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 200 ml madeira
  • 1-2 tsp balsamic vinegar (regular vinegar will work too)
  • For serving
  • 1 Burrata (leave out for vegan)
  • Cress



Soak the dried porcini mushroom for ± 30 minutes in hot water.


In the meantime prep your other ingredients: tear the fresh mushrooms, finely chop the onions and slice the garlic cloves.


As soon as the dried porcini are softened, remove from the water, set the mushroom broth aside for later. Finely chop the softened porcini mushrooms.


In a hot skillet or frying pan add some olive oil and half of the butter.


Add the fresh mushrooms and slowly sauté until caramelised and some of the moisture has evaporated (see notes), ± 10 minutes.


Add the onions and garlic and sauté along until translucent and fragrant and just starting to caramelise, ± 5 minutes (add some extra butter or oil if needed).


Add the porcini mushrooms, thyme, tomato paste and mustard and give it a good stir.


Sauté for 3-4 minutes to cook the tomato paste, don't let it burn.


Deglaze the pan with the madeira, stir well and scrape all the goodness from the bottom of the pan, ± 3 minutes.


When the alcohol has evaporated, slowly add the porcini broth, start with half and add more to reach your desired consistency.


Taste the sauce and season with pepper, salt and a drop of balsamic vinegar to your liking. Let it bubble away on low heat while you prep the pasta.


Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain, but keep some of the cooking water.


Add pasta to the sauce and toss to coat.


Keep adding as much of the cooking water until you get a nice, creamy sauce.


Serve with cress sprinkled on top, the burrata torn into nice chunks and a good drizzle of olive oil.


The trick to great sautéed mushrooms is to not stir too often. Leave them to fry until caramelised on 1 side and then flip over and repeat. Buy stirring too often the mushrooms will lose more moisture and they will steam rather than sauté and crisp up.

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