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  • Writer's pictureChef Mel


Updated: Dec 1, 2021

Traditional meat ragu is a slowky-cooked sauce with deeply developed flavors that is excellent on pasta. This plant-based version swaps meat for meaty mushrooms, and butter for your favorite plant-based butter. Add parm, regular or dairy-free, and you are in for a delectable dinner ready when the pasta is finished boiling!


4 TBSP Vegan Butter, divided

4 TBSP cooking oil (coconut, avocado, olive, etc)

1 Shallot, peeled and finely diced or sliced

3-4 Garlic Cloves, peeled and finely diced or sliced

16 oz Cremini or Baby Bella Mushrooms, cleaned, DRIED VERY WELL, and thinly sliced or chopped small

1/4 cup White Wine (I like to use a Sav Blanc)

1/4 cup+ starchy pasta water

2 TBSP Fresh Sage, thinly sliced (optional)

1/4 Cup Parsley, washed and roughly chopped

1/2 Cup+ Freshly Grated Parmesan (vegan or regular!)

Salt + Pepper to taste


  1. Wash hands and clear work station. Prep ingredients according to notes above. Mise en place (gather and organize) all ingredients and equipment needed for recipe.

  2. In large saute pan over medium heat, melt 2 TBSP butter and 2 TBSP oil and mix together once liquid.

  3. Saute shallots and garlic until lightly golden and very fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Stirring occasionally to prevent burning but not so much that the ingredients don't heat up in the pan

  4. Add enough mushrooms to pan so aren't overlapping and mix so everyone is coated with the butter mixture. Spread mushrooms evenly in pan so they aren't overlapping and DO NOT TOUCH THEM - no poking or prodding, we want maximum brownage and mushrooms tend to release a lot of liquid, if the pan is too crowded the mushrooms will steam vs brown. The mushrooms MUST also be completely dry before adding to the pan to increase brownage.

  5. Once shrooms have released their excess liquid, shrunk in size, and have begun browning, flip and repeat. Once shroom slices are evenly browned, remove them from the pan and repeat this process until ALL shroom slices are cooked off. You may need to add a little more butter or oil for the next batches.

  6. Add all the shrooms, shallots, garlic, back to the pan, and get everyone nice and hot

  7. CAREFULLY deglaze your pan with the white wine - the wine will steam up so watch your cute face! As you are pouring the wine in the pan be very cautious as any alcohol that misses the pan will ignite and this recipe is not a flambe! Scrape the pan to release any browning into the sauce and let the wine reduce until almost all gone, about 2 minutes

  8. Add the saved starchy pasta water to the pan and stir to combine, reducing until the sauce is silky and slightly thinkened

  9. Turn off heat and let the residual heat from the pan gently melt the remaining butter and grated cheese. Add the parsley and sage and stir to combine.

  10. Season, taste, adjust seasoning if needed, taste again. Toss immediately with cooked pasta and enjoy with even more grated cheese on top!


- This recipe can be made up to a day or 2 ahead of your event if you are looking to cut down on prep time

- Store in airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days

- This ragu is also absolutely delicious as a ravioli/lasagna filling. Simply puree with ricotta or tofu in food processor and use as a filling!

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