I’m not sure if you’re allowed to call a sauce that doesn’t contain meat, doesn’t start with a soffritto, and that only cooks for 10 minutes a ragù, and yet because of the concentrated flavour of the dried porcini, this has all the intensity of a meat ragù that has simmered for hours. Anyone who has made the spicy mushroom lasagne from Ottolenghi Flavour will realise what I’m trying to achieve here: an abridged version of that ragù with the same intensity but without the hours chopping kilos of mushrooms (yes, I heard you!). This recipe is inspired by two of my favourite dishes at Ristorante Pizzeria Acone near where I grew up in Tuscany – penne all’Aconese and tagliatelle alla Beppa.
Serves: 2 as a main with leftovers, or 4 as a starter
40g dried porcini
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to serve
3 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped (not crushed!)
1⁄2 teaspoon chilli flakes (or less if you prefer)
10g fresh parsley (stalks and leaves), finely chopped, plus extra to serve
1/3 teaspoon fine salt
1 1⁄2 tablespoons tomato purée/paste
about 50 twists of freshly ground black pepper
250g dried tagliatelle nests
40g Parmesan, very finely grated, plus extra to serve
3 tablespoons double cream
This recipe is reserved for those registered for our AN EVENING WITH: IXTA BELFRAGE event on Monday 18th July at 6:30pm. We will be chatting to Ixta and she will be taking us through how to cook this porcini ragu, right from your kitchen.
Click here to buy tickets.
Ixta’s cooking is inspired by the Mexican, Brazilian and Italian flavours she grew up with, and her cookbook MEZCLA is a celebration of them all brought together. With simpler recipes for when you want something more quick and easy, alongside recipes to take your time over, each dish tells a story with its flavours, ingredients and method. Extracted from Mezcla by Ixta Belfrage (Ebury Press, £26) All photography by Yuki Sugiura