I originally posted this Sausage and Mushroom Ragout recipe 3 years ago — not long after my daughter left to start her freshman year of college. I think I was having withdrawals from not having her around anymore and was looking for anything to soothe my “missing Emily ache”. Pasta with a meaty sauce is definitely an appropriate salve.
Fast forward and my daughter is beginning her Senior year. Again, I’m getting that familiar lump in my throat and heaviness in my chest. She’s my only kid — and not so much of a kid anymore. Though we’ve been empty nesters for 3 years, when she graduates from college, I think it will seem more permanent. Cue the comfort food.
So, about this ragout. Well, what’s not to love? It’s thick, rich and meaty. Not only does it have ground beef, but also italian sausage and mushrooms!
It also starts with what I consider to be the holy grail of marinara sauces. Six cups of marinara is about the right ratio to go with the full pound of both ground beef and Italian pork sausage.
If you don’t have the time, or inkling to make your own marinara from scratch, pick up a good quality jarred version (no snarky comments from me, promise).
During the last 20-30 minutes of simmering, add about 3/4 cup of drinkable red wine — the rest of the bottle is for enjoying with dinner, obviously!
- 1/2 pound baby bella or white mushrooms brushed of any grit, sliced
- 3 teaspoons olive oil divided
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic
- 1 pound italian sausage casings removed
- 1 pound ground beef extra lean
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 6 cups marinara sauce can be store bought or use my homemade recipe - link included
- 3/4 cup red wine
- salt and pepper to taste
In a dutch oven, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat, add mushrooms and sauté for 5-6 minutes, until softened and they've given up their liquid. Transfer mushrooms to a small bowl.
Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pot and stir in the chopped onions. Cook 3-4 minutes until onions are softened and translucent.
Add sausage and ground beef and garlic. Using the back of a wooden spoon or fork, break apart the meat. Cook until the meat is browned. Spoon any excess fat from the browned sausage and beef and discard.
Add bay leaves, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, marinara sauce and mushrooms. Stir to combine. When the mixture starts to bubble, put the lid on the pot, slightly askew, turn the heat down to simmer and let the sauce cook and thicken, about 20 minutes.
Add the red wine and simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve over pasta, gnocchi or spaghetti squash with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
URL to the marinara sauce: http://www.garlicandzest.com/homemade-marinara-sauce
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