Purists call this dish white ragu pappardelle pasta; others call it white bolognese (which makes the purists mad). The point isn’t the name (it tastes just as good no matter what you call it). And, much as I love tomato sauces, the white sauce is a tasty change from the usual red one.
It starts with onions and carrots, then adds ground beef and sausage, which is simmered gently with porcini mushrooms, white wine, and a touch of cream. Soooo good.
I first made this right after Pesach, when the urge to eat starch (and lots of it) is strong, so I splurged for fresh pappardelle pasta. Being on an involuntary low-carb diet is no fun! Since I was using fresh pasta, it takes less time to cook than the dried version. If you use dried pasta, allow 10 minutes or so to boil the water and another 8 minutes or so to cook the pasta. Fresh pasta only needs a couple of minutes. If you can’t get pappardelle, rigatoni will work fine. You want a substantial pasta with bite (angel hair won’t do here).
The original recipe calls for dried porcini mushrooms, which I didn’t have. So, I substituted fresh ones. If you use the dried version, add the soaking liquid to the sauce instead of the water. The pasta water at the end thickens the sauce (with the starch from the cooked pasta).
I made a few other changes too. As a commenter rightly pointed out, the onions and carrots take different amounts of time to cook, so they shouldn’t be added all at once. First the onions, then the carrots. Also, I never have beef bouillon cubes (the ingredients make me wince) so I used beef stock instead.
White Ragu Papardelle Pasta Substitutions and Variations
- Substitute bacon or pancetta for the sausage
- Swap ground veal and pork for the beef and sausage
- If you like venison or boar, those would work too
- Add a few cloves of garlic and top with basil when you serve it
- Don’t want sausage or beef? Use ground turkey instead (add a bit more fat to the pan)
Feel better knowing where your food is coming from. You can pick the way it’s raised, and who raises it. Crowd cow sources their meat from individual farmers and ranchers, not corporate giants. It’s either grass-fed or mostly grass-fed and then grain-finished, with minimal antibiotics and no extra hormones pumped into the animals.
More Pasta Recipes
A rich, thick tomato sauce brightened with spicy crushed red pepper and savory oregano. The artichokes are straight from a jar (so it’s pantry-friendly).
Sometimes, the simplest things are best. This only requires a few basic ingredients you likely have in your cupboard or fridge. Go up the fancy scale with fresh pasta, or use what’s in your pantry. It’s all good.
Earthy spinach, a splash of citrus, and some cream and you have a delicious, light main dish. And the hardest part is boiling the water for the pasta.
A bit of a twist on the usual pesto. No pine nuts, or walnuts. This one is made with pistachios instead. And while I got it from a book, it wasn’t a cookbook. It was a mystery.