Your Cart Is Currently Empty
Your Cart (0)

Naked Barley with Mushroom Ragu

25 minutes prep
45 minutes active cooking
1 hour + 10 minutes total

Makes 6 - 8 servings
Print recipe

Grains like naked barley make great vehicles for most pasta sauces.

This simple mushroom ragu uses a technique called a dry sauté. Mushrooms are mostly water, and cooking them without any added oil drives most of it off. The mushroom flavor is concentrated and the mouthfeel becomes more firm.

What you'll need


For the shopping list

1/2 pound of

naked barley

1 pound of

brown or white mushrooms, sliced

2-3 cloves of

garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons of


To taste

black peppercorns, crushed or ground

From our shop

$27 - Tuscany - Italy

$9 - Pantelleria - Sicily

Out of stock
To taste Italian Fine Sea Salt

$7 - Trapani - Sicily

Italian Fine Sea Salt

$7 - Yolo Valley - California

Crushed Tomatoes

Substitute whole tomatoes, but crush them with your hands before adding

Out of stock
Grated, for serving Parmigiano Reggiano

$10 - Reggio-Emilia - Italy

Parmigiano Reggiano


From the kitchen


Large Sauce Pan + Lid


Heavy Skillet


Chef Knife


Cutting Board

Measuring Spoons

What you'll have to do

Step 1

Put 1/2lb of barley into a pot with a lid, stir in a good pinch of sea salt, and add enough water to cover the grain by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for at least 45 minutes, adding water as needed to keep the barley covered. Keep tasting and when it’s slightly soft but still chewy, remove from the heat and drain.

Step 2

Make the ragu while the barley is simmering. Heat a heavy skillet and add the 1lb of sliced mushrooms. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, in the dry skillet, turning frequently, until nicely browned and most of the liquid is gone, about 15-20 minutes.

Step 3

Add a healthy glug (3-4 tablespoons) of olive oil, 2 tablespoons thyme, 1 teaspoon of oregano, a pinch of the freshly ground pepper, and the 2-3 chopped garlic cloves. Sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and cook for about a minute. Add the can tomatoes, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed.

Step 4

Top the cooked barley with the ragu. Serve with grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Shop this recipe

Pasta & Tomatoes

Crushed Tomatoes

Bianco di NapoliYolo Valley - California
Salt, Herbs, & Spices


Francesco RafaelePantelleria - Sicily
Out of stock
Italian Fine Sea Salt
Salt, Herbs, & Spices

Italian Fine Sea Salt

Gucciardo VincenzoTrapani - Sicily
Novo Frantoio
Olive Oil

Novo Frantoio

Novo FrantoioTuscany - Italy

More recipes

Purple Valley Barley Salad with Pickleez in Purple

Naked barley, spicy Haitian-style pickled cabbage, and Portuguese sardines make this salad a little different.

Shakshuka with Garbanzos & Feta

In Israel it’s usually breakfast, but our version of eggs cooked in tomato sauce works for any meal.