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Rye Pappardelle with Porcini and Fennel Ragù

Servings: 4, with some leftover sauce

Substituting rye flour for half of the pasta flour transforms these wide noodles, giving them more texture and a more robust flavor, and making them an excellent match for a hearty porcini ragù.


  • 2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 5 oz. (2 cups) fresh shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbs. freshly ground toasted fennel seeds (see Tip, below)
  • Fine sea salt
  • 4 cups tomato purée or milled tomatoes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. Rye Pappardelle
  • Finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 640
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 180
  • Fat (g): 20
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12
  • Cholesterol (mg): 155
  • Sodium (mg): 1460
  • Carbohydrates (g): 96
  • Fiber (g): 16
  • Sugar (g): 16
  • Protein (g): 24


  • Put the porcini in heatproof bowl, and pour the boiling water over them. Steep for 20 to 30 minutes, until softened. Drain through a fine-mesh sieve lined with a damp paper towel set over a bowl. You should end up with about 1-1/3 cups liquid. Reserve the liquid and coarsely chop the porcini. Set them aside separately.
  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the carrot, celery, onion, and fennel, and cook until the vegetables are beginning to soften, about 7 minutes. Add the porcini, shiitake, bay leaves, ground fennel seed, and 1 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft and translucent, but not mushy, about 10 minutes more. Raise the heat to medium high, and add half of the reserved porcini liquid. Cook, stirring often, until the liquid is mostly evaporated.
  • Pour in the tomatoes and the remaining porcini liquid. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover partially, and simmer gently until the sauce has thickened, about 45 minutes; the tomatoes will have lost their juicy fresh appearance and turned a few shades darker. Remove and discard the bay leaves, and then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and salt generously with kosher salt. Gently drop the pappardelle nests into the boiling water and stir with a serving fork or pasta fork to separate the noodles. Bring the water back to a boil and cook the pasta for 3 minutes, or until al dente; fresh pasta cooks quickly, so don’t overcook.
  • While the pasta is cooking, ladle about 2 cups of sauce into a warmed serving bowl. Reserve about a cup of the cooking water, and then drain the pasta. Transfer the pappardelle to the serving bowl and toss gently with the sauce, adding more sauce or a splash of cooking water as needed to thoroughly coat the noodles. Spoon additional sauce on top and serve. Alternatively, to serve individually, divide the tossed pasta among four rimmed bowls, and spoon sauce over each serving. Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.


To toast fennel seeds, place them in a small, dry nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Toast, stirring, until the seeds have turned a shade darker, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat, and let cool to room temperature. Grind the seeds to a powder in a spice grinder.


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Reviews (1 review)

  • wilby | 02/03/2020

    The pasta was nice and light, but I found the dried porcinis to be overwhelming

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