Recipe for the weekend!
Spicy Mushroom-Sausage Ragù 🌞
Happy Friday!! The weekend is here and what better way to unwind than with a big bowl of comfort. This recipe is from a few years ago (omg, time flies!!!) but I was thinking about it, so I decided to dig it from the crypt and reshare it here.
When I first made this, it took Pinterest by storm with millions of views in 24 hours and for good reason…it’s got all the good stuff. Gooey, bubbly, browned cheese, a spicy, rich sauce, and…most likely gotta be the mushrooms because I’m just gonna assume everyone loves mushrooms as much as I do, so that’s why it went viral.
Regardless of why folks love it, it’s an amazing dish that doesn't require a ton of effort but yields huge flavor!
Want to make it this weekend? The full recipe is after the photo! 👇
Spicy Mushroom Sausage Ragù
2 teaspoons olive oil for sautéing
1 pound hot Italian sausage, loose
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound cremini mushrooms, diced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon dry thyme
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
3 cups beef stock or 1 cup red wine, 2 cups beef stock
28-ounce can fire-roasted, crushed or diced tomatoes; if using diced, drain the tomatoes first
Salt and pepper to taste
16 ounces dry rigatoni
8 ounces fresh mozzarella torn into bite-sized pieces
Freshly minced or dry parsley
Extra virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
Brown the Sausage:
Heat extra virgin olive oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, for 8-12 minutes until the sausage is cooked through and begins to brown. Add an extra ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper to the sausage.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate. If the sausage was very fatty, drain off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot. Return the pot to medium heat.
Cook the Aromatics:
Add the onion and carrots to the pot and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the aromatics begin to deepen in color and develop a crust. Season with salt and pepper and move them to one side of the pot.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter into the pot.
Add the mushrooms to the butter and cook for 1 minute. Toss with all of the aromatics in the pot and then cook, stirring regularly, for 12-15 minutes until they release all their liquid, and the liquid evaporates. It will take some time, so be patient. Continue cooking until the mushrooms develop a beautiful golden crust.
Add the garlic to the pot and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Season with salt, white pepper, and thyme, and cook for 45 seconds until fragrant.
Simmer the Ragù:
Return the sausage to the pot and toss to combine. Add the beef stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, uncovered. If the ragù sticks, add a lid and a few splashes of water to loosen it up. The end result should be a very thick, jammy sauce, so if your ragù is watery, turn up the heat a bit during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking to cook off the excess water. It will allow it to develop a truly rich flavor! Don't worry, you will loosen it up with pasta cooking water later!
Taste and simmer the ragù to your preferences.
Cook the Pasta:
Shortly before the ragù finishes simmering, preheat the oven to 425ºF and cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta about 2-3 minutes shy of al dente.
Scoop out ⅔ cup of the pasta cooking water and pour it into the ragù and stir to combine.
Using a spider strainer, scoop out the pasta and transfer it directly to the pot of sauce and toss to combine. Turn off the heat.
Bake the Pasta:
If you have an oven-proof pot, you can assemble the pasta directly in the pot. Otherwise, transfer the sauced pasta to a lightly greased oval baking dish.
Arrange the mozzarella on top of the pasta and sprinkle with parsley, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and freshly cracked black pepper. Transfer to the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
If desired, turn on the broiler and broil the cheese for 2-3 minutes until golden brown bubbles begin to form. Turn off the heat and allow the baked pasta to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Divide the baked pasta between shallow bowls. Garnish with a tiny bit of flaky sea salt if you like, and a touch more parsley. Enjoy!
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