Traditionally, a ragout is made from meat, usually with various vegetables as flavoring agents. Here's a meat-free version that tastes rich and satisfying. I served this tossed with brown rice pasta and fresh green beans, with simple herbed baked chicken and a spinach and blueberry salad.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
4 ounces oyster, white beech, chantrelle, or shiitake mushrooms, whole or sliced*
1 cup vegetable stock or water
freshly ground black pepper
In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. When it is shimmering, add the onions. Season with a little salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until onions are soft and starting to turn golden, about 10-12 minutes.
Trim and slice the button mushrooms. Trim the "exotic" mushrooms, and cut up if large.
Add the mushrooms and garlic to the onions and cook until the mushrooms have given off all their water and they start to turn a golden color, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Strip the leaves from 2-3 sprigs of marjoram and 4-5 sprigs of thyme and add to the mixture, along with the vegetable stock or water. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half.
Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed.
* I found organic white beech mushrooms at my local grocery. Look for them where Japanese produce is sold. Or, use the widely available shiitakes or other local wild mushrooms when you see them in the store or at the farmers' market. You could also substitute some reconstituted porcini mushrooms (or fresh ones, if you're lucky enough to find them).