I discovered this amazing mushroom ragu with torn pasta when traveling in Italy, in the lovely town of Macerata. After a morning of wandering I stumbled upon a small, unassuming restaurant with the word Funghi scribbled on a board outside. Even with my limited grasp of Italian I knew what was on special.
The ordeals of Italian food in Italy
I was fast tiring of the 25 course lunches I'd been enduring all week, so was determined to keep it small. After some stern refusals of antipasti the waiter finally allowed me to skip straight to pasta.
I forget the Italian name for the dish, but it arrived in all its rustic splendour - what appeared to be some mushrooms tipped on torn up fresh egg pasta lasagne sheets. It's always the same in Italy - a dish looks so ordinary in appearance that when you taste that first mouthful you once again realise you've been duped. HOW CAN THIS POSSIBLY BE SO DELICIOUS!? I can't do the taste justice with words to be honest - the earthy umami hit of the mushrooms infused with the fresh herbs and sharp salty cheese were something else.
The simplicity of the fresh pasta, just torn into small pieces and tossed with the mushrooms was as honest as it gets, but it sure did leave a lasting impression.
On my return, I set to make my version at home. I must say, while it's probably not as delicious, it's pretty damn close.
Make your own pasta from scratch
You'll need to make a batch of fresh pasta. My handy, helpful guide will show you how to make the perfect pasta every time.