Friday, July 1, 2011

Pasta with Veal, Sausage and Porcini Ragù

This ragù has such a deep, richness to it, I want to describe it as gorgeous. It's one of those meals you know will be outstanding just from the smell emanating from your kitchen. It fills your entire house. As a matter of fact, I made this last night and was pleased to discover the scrumptious aroma still hanging in the air when I woke up this morning. I've always loved the smell of freshly brewed coffee, but it's got nothing on last night's ragù.

(Pasta con Ragù di Vitello, Salsicce e Porcini)
Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, peeled, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley (plus 2 tablespoons for garnish)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or pressed
8 oz. sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
8 oz. ground veal (can substitute ground beef)
1/2 cup dry red wine
28 oz. low-sodium chicken broth
1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes in juice
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. fresh (or packaged dried egg) pappardelle or fettuccine
freshly grated parmesan cheese

1.      Rinse the mushrooms and combine with 1 cup water in small saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Let stand 15 minutes. Strain soaking liquid through paper-towel-lined sieve into bowl. Coarsely chop mushrooms. Set liquid and mushrooms aside.
2.      Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, 1/4 cup parsley and garlic. Sauté until vegetables are tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Push vegetables to side of skillet. Add sausage and cook until brown, breaking up with back of fork, about 4 minutes. Add veal and sauté until brown, about 4 minutes. Add wine. Increase heat to high and boil until wine is almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup chicken broth; boil 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add reserved mushroom liquid. Simmer until liquid is almost absorbed, about 5 minutes.
3.      Mix in tomatoes with juices, bay leaves, sage, fennel seeds and porcini mushrooms. Reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered until sauce thickens, breaking up tomatoes with fork, adding remaining chicken broth 1/2 cup at a time and stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Remove the bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled.)
4.      Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain. Rewarm sauce over medium heat. Add pasta and toss to combine. Serve sprinkled with cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons parsley.

slightly adapted from Bon Appétit, May 2000

dried porcini mushrooms in water

I'm sure you'd have yourself a decent sauce if you omitted
the porcinis, but I don't think it will be nearly as flavorful and,
dare I say, luxurious. The mushrooms and their soaking
liquid are probably what really sets this sauce apart.
soaked porcinis (not chopped yet)
porcini soaking liquid

Just look at how dark and rich it
could it not be packed with big time flavor?
onion, carrot, garlic and parsley
sausage added
veal added
wine added
chicken broth added
porcini soaking liquid added
fresh sage
crushing fennel seeds

You don't need a mortar and pestle; you can put
them in a plastic bag and crush with anything heavy
(like a rolling pin, mallet, or a can of soup)
tomatoes, porcinis, sage, bay leaves and fennel seeds added
all mixed
There are so many great layers of flavor in this sauce.
about halfway through cooking (about
half the chicken stock has been added)
it's ragù
dried pappardelle
cooked pappardelle draining
Pasta con Ragù di Vitello, Salsicce e Porcini

Sounds even more delicious in Italian.


Judie Cleland said...

I want some NOW.

Anonymous said...

I'm missing you

Tie It Out said...

this is BOMB

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