Ragù is an essential part of Tuscan cooking. It’s a hearty sauce made with meat and veggies and cooked with wine and broth. I love the addition of earthy porcini mushrooms–a mainstay in the Tuscan cuisine. This all comes together magically and one of my favorite pasta recipes.
On a snowy winter night, this is what I’m making.
- 1 cup water
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms*
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 16 oz. Italian sausage, ground
- 16 oz. beef stew meat, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 20 oz. chicken broth
- 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes in juice
- 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh sage
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 pound pappardelle or fettuccine
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 handful parsley, minced for garnish
- Bring 1 cup water and dried porcini mushrooms to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat. Let stand 15 minutes. Strain liquid into a bowl. Finely chop mushrooms. Set liquid and mushrooms aside.
- Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery, and garlic. Sauté until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Next, add sausage and stew meat and cook until brown, breaking up with back of fork, 8-10 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil, cook approximately 5 minutes until wine is almost evaporated. Add chicken broth and reserved mushroom liquid. Simmer on medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
- Transfer mixture to food processor. (You may need to do this in batches). Pulse a few times until coarsely chopped, not pureed. Return mixture to skillet. Add tomatoes with juices, bay leaves, sage, red pepper flakes, and porcini mushrooms. Reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally about 45 minutes to an hour. Season with salt and pepper. (Ragù can be made 2 days ahead).
- Cook pasta according to directions.
- Sprinkle with cheese and parsley.