A bowl of creamy wild mushroom ragu on creamy Pecorino polenta.
Mains, Vegetarian

Wild Mushroom Ragu

Close-up of mushrom ragu on creamy polenta.
This Wild Mushroom Ragu ticks all the boxes for vegetarian comfort food.
aerial view of mushrooms and polenta, surrounded by plants.
Creamy Pecorino polenta is the perfect vessel for this wild mushroom ragu, but leftovers on toast is a pretty close second!
A bowl of creamy wild mushroom ragu on creamy Pecorino polenta.

Wild Mushroom Ragu

Sacha Hirschfeld
This Wild Mushroom Ragu is creamy, dreamy, and basically the poster child of comfort food!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Mains
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 260 kcal


  • 1 medium bowl
  • 1 large skillet
  • 1 wooden spoon


  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter divided
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cup fennel diced, fronds reserved; this was 1 head of fennel for me
  • 1 cup white onion chopped; may sub shallots
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • freshly ground pepper
  • kosher salt
  • 1 lb assorted wild mushrooms wiped, trimmed and chopped into large pieces; I used shiitake, king trumpet, beech, and white button
  • ½ cup dry white wine I used a sauvignon blanc
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp sweet paprika Hungarian reigns supreme
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup sour cream room temperature; don't use non-fat
  • a chunk of Parmesan rind see notes
  • ½ cup Italian parsley chopped, plus some for garnish


  • Pour boiling water over dried mushrooms in a medium-sized bowl; cover with a plate and set aside for 20-30 minutes.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon each butter and extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium-low heat until shimmering.
  • Add fennel and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Strain the dried mushrooms, reserving liquid for later.
  • Chop the rehydrated porcini mushrooms and add to skillet along with wild mushrooms, a dozen grinds of black pepper, and a solid pinch of salt. Turn the heat up to medium; cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms release their liquid and the bottom of the pan starts to turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. Keep cooking, while vigorously scraping the bottom and sides of the skillet, another 10 minutes. I swear, every-time I make this recipe, I’m borderline freaking because I’m scared it’s burning!!
  • Add white wine and deglaze while scraping up brown bits with a wooden spoon. Continue cooking, stirring often, until wine reduces by half, about 5 minutes,
  • Add dried-mushroom soaking liquid, veggie stock, parmesan rind, sweet paprika, and thyme.
  • Lower heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently to avoid burning, until sauce is thickened and no wateriness remains, about 20-30 minutes.
  • Add sour cream; stir continuously until totally combined.
  • Remove from heat; discard thyme stems and parmesan rind.
  • Stir in chopped parsley. Taste, season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve over polenta, mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or pasta.


Never ever throw away your Parmesan Rinds! These little flavor bombs are all-stars in stocks, soups, and stews. They add an incredible depth of flavor and that umami factor. 
Keyword Farmers Market, Vegan Adaptable, Vegetarian

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