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Sausage & Mushroom Ragù.

This dish is incredibly satisfying.

The mild Italian ground sausage is slow cooked with mushrooms, red wine and aromatics until the flavors melt together like your favorite comfort food.

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It was that exact flavor profile that inspired this recipe, except it wasn’t a hearty rich Ragù I dreamed of, it was a pizza.

For as long as I can remember my favorite pizza toppings have been sausage and mushroom (very light on the tomato sauce please). The flavor combination is everything!

Our neighborhood gathering spot happens to be an Italian restaurant with a rich personal history.

But it’s the no-fuss comfortable feel we get sitting at the bar that makes this a favorite.

Pre-covid, almost every week Nick and I would choose a night to forgo cooking and belly up to the bar instead. We’d catch up with our favorite bartenders and other folks like us (the “regulars”), have a cocktail, and then we’d order dinner.

Flash forward to a couple weeks ago. After taking nearly a year off from dining-in we went for it. It was a Tuesday, the day had gotten away from us, and we just wanted to sit at the bar. And so we did. I ordered a martini, Nick a G&T and we sipped to our hearts content. For dinner I ordered a sausage & mushroom pizza (on gluten free crust…which is thin & crispy and I positively adore). I’m not sure if it was the nostalgic feeling I got from seeing some old familiar faces or the comfort of my cocktail and pizza toppings but I left Ipp’s inspired that night.

With all of that in mind, it is my intent with this recipe to make it as comfortable as a great slice of pizza (or dirty martini). These gorgeous on-the-vine cherry tomatoes called to me at the market. I knew it would be the perfect way to incorporate the tomato element to this dish without overpowering the Ragù. And since pizza was the inspiration, fresh mozzarella found its way into this giant bowl of love!!

/ comfort food /

noun

“a food that provides consolation or a feeling of well-being”

Because my intention with this dish was to deliver comfort, I served it two ways. Over Herby Polenta {with Smoked Gouda} and over tagliatelle pasta. Both family-style presentations were inviting and delicious and enjoyed by all.

Cheers to the weekend (or weeknight) when dinner is ready in under an hour and delivers familiar comfortable flavors. This Sausage & Mushroom Ragù will do just that. These cocktails will help.

Sausage & Mushroom Ragù

Libby with Lemony Thyme
Cheers to the weekend (or weeknight) when dinner is ready in under an hour and delivers familiar comfortable flavors. This Sausage & Mushroom Ragù will do just that.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

For Ragu

  • 3-4 Tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 3 Tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 pound mushrooms sliced
  • 1/2 sweet onion about 1 cup fine diced
  • 1 shallot fine diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound ground mild Italian sausage
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken broth divided
  • salt & pepper to taste

To serve

  • 2-3 bunches cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 servings Herbed Polenta or Favorite Pasta Polenta Recipe Link in Post
  • fresh mozzarella or parmesan cheese
  • fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions
 

For Ragu

  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespooon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Saute mushrooms in batches until golden brown. Adding additional butter and oil as needed. Remove mushrooms from pan and reserve.
  • Saute diced onion and shallot until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add ground sausage to pan, using wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Cook until well browned and cooked through. Return mushrooms to pan and stir to heat through.
  • Add red wine and cook until almost evaporated. Stir in tomato paste and 1/2 cup broth, mix well. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Add additional broth if needed to desired consistency.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400° F. Place tomatoes on baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes, just until tomatoes begin to burst.
  • Prepare Herby Polenta or favorite pasta.

To serve

  • Spoon ragu over a bed of creamy polenta or cooked pasta, topped with roasted tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella pieces or parmesan shavings. Garnish with fresh parsley.