Ziti with Sausage and Mushroom Ragu Recipe (adapted from Sur La Table). Serves 4
- To prep, dice 2 carrots, 2 celery, 1 small onion and combine in a bowl. Thinly slice 2 onions and set aside. Clean 4 oz of mushrooms (I really like these organic Bunashimeji / Beech mushrooms that I've been buying from Marukai, also available at Co-op. They have a nice earthy flavor and texture more similar to wild mushrooms). Remove casings from 3 links of chicken sausage (about 3/4 lb total).
- In a Le Creuset 3 quart pot over medium heat with a couple of TB of olive oil, saute the carrots, celery, onion until soft and starting to brown, 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper (don't need to use too much salt because the sausage is pretty salty)
- Add the mushrooms and saute for another 5-8 minutes until the mushrooms have released all their moisture and the moisture is gone
- Add 1 TB of tomato paste to the vegetables and stir around for two minutes until it caramelized a bit
- Add the chicken sausage and saute until mostly cooked through, about 8 minutes
- Add 1/2 cup of red wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up all the brown bits
- Add 1 28 oz can of peeled tomatoes and their juices, crushing the tomatoes by hand. Add 1-2 bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for at least an hour. Taste for seasoning
- Meanwhile, in a separate pan, caramelize the sliced onions over medium low heat with a few TB of olive oil, stirring occasionally. Season with a little salt and pepper. Needs about 45 minutes to caramelize. When finished, add 1 TB of balsamic vinegar and remove from heat
- Cook 1 lb of pasta in heavily salted boiling water until almost al dente. Add the pasta to the pot with the sauce to finish cooking, adding a little pasta water if necessary. Serve with balsamic vinegar on top.