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Mushroom Ragu with Spaghetti The Healthy Slow Cooker by Ross Dobson (Murdoch Books, £18.99). Photography by Jeremy Simons.
February 2024
Reading time 2 Minutes
Mushrooms can be partnered with pretty much the same ingredients as beef: tomatoes, red wine and strong-flavoured herbs spring to mind. I would probably avoid more delicate mushroom varieties like oyster and enoki here, as they won't benefit from slow cooking as much as the more robust button mushrooms and Swiss browns. For a gluten-free meal, simply serve with some mashed potato or polenta instead of the pasta.
20 minutes
about 2½ hours
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 400g can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp vegetable stock powder
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • small handful tarragon leaves
  • large handful finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 180g small button mushrooms
  • 180g quartered Swiss brown mushrooms
  • 10g chopped dried porcini mushrooms
  • 125g light sour cream
  • 300g wholemeal spaghetti
  • 50g finely grated parmesan, to serve

Heat your slow cooker to High.

Put the olive oil into a large frying pan over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic and fry for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, stock powder, cornflour, soy sauce, tarragon, most of the parsley (reserving a little to scatter over the finished dish) and 60ml water. Season generously with salt and pepper, then tip the lot into the bowl of the slow cooker.

Add the mushrooms and give everything a good stir. Cover and cook for two hours, until the mushrooms are tender and the sauce is thick and rich.

Working quickly to avoid losing too much heat, stir through the sour cream. Cover and cook for a further 30 minutes.

Towards the end of the cooking time, cook the spaghetti in boiling water according to the packet instructions. Drain well.

Serve the mushroom ragu with the spaghetti, scattered with the parmesan and the reserved parsley.

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