5 November 2023

Mushroom Ragù Bianco (White Bolognese)

Ragù bianco, or white bolognese is the cousin of the better-known ragu alla bolognese made with tomatoes. This version has white wine, rosemary and thyme and I made it vegan with a mince of both dried and fresh mushrooms and walnuts for an umami flavour that's rich and delicious. 

The mirepoix and mushroom mince are made in the food processor for speedier prep, then sauteed to brown and reduce. I first made this in the summer, so you could swap out the courgette for the more traditional carrot for an autumn-winter recipe.

For a little extra umami I added liquid smoke to this recipe, you can buy it online if you can't find it in a shop, a little goes a long way and it adds a real richness to vegan recipes, but you could add a little smoked paprika instead. I finished off the pasta the way you would a traditional Ragu, with the liquid gold that is salty starchy pasta water, (unsweetened soy) milk, parm and a good drizzle of olive oil, to thicken and emulsify the sauce with the pasta. This recipe is rich and flavourful, with deep umami flavours that are balanced and not overwhelmingly mushroomy.

If you haven't already, subscribe to receive blog updates directly to your inbox and don't forget to check me out on Instagram or TikTok for recipe videos.

Mushroom Ragù Bianco (White Bolognese) | Serves: 4 | Time: 1 hour

You'll need

  • Food processor
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Stewpot
  • Saucepan
  • Cup/small bowl
  • Fine grater/microplane
  • Slotted spoon
  • Ladle


  • 1/2 cup dried mixed mushrooms
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 courgette or carrot
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 250g minced mushrooms
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
  • 4 sprigs thyme, removed from the stem
  • 5 bay leaves
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke or 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 500ml veg stock
  • 1 tbsp balsamic glaze
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
  • Vegan parm
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 300g pasta (I used Mafalda Corta)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Add the dried mushrooms to a cup and top up with boiling water, leave to rehydrate.
  2. Meanwhile, peel and quarter the onion, remove the ends of the celery and courgette and chop in half. Add to the food processor and blitz until minced.
  3. Add the stewpot on a medium heat and add a good glug of olive oil. Add the minced veg and sautee for 5-10 minutes until the liquid has cooked off.
  4. Meanwhile, peel the garlic and add the cloves to the blender with the walnuts, blitz until combined, then add the dried mushrooms and rehydrating liquid and blend into a paste. Add the chestnut mushrooms and blitz until minced.
  5. Add to the base veg and cook for 5 minutes, then add the rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, nutmeg and liquid smoke, stir to combine then add the white wine and cook off for 5 minutes until reduced.
  6. Add in the veg stock and balsamic glaze and simmer for 25 minutes on a low heat. 
  7. Add a large pan of well-salted water to a boil, add your pasta and cook for around 8-9 minutes, until just shy of al dente. Then, using a slotted spoon, add your pasta into the ragu, along with 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk, 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water, and a generous amount of vegan parm and black pepper, along with a drizzle of olive oil. Stir together well and add in some fresh parsley.
  8. Serve up with a drizzle of olive oil, vegan parm, black pepper and fresh parsley and enjoy!
Cassidy xx