TAGLIATELLE AL RAGU DI PORCINI, SALSICCE E VITELLO (from Tuscany, with mushrooms, sausage and veal, for six)


1 cup water

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed

8 ounces veal stew meat, coarsely chopped

½ cup dry, red wine

two 14-1/2 ounce cans low-salt chicken broth

one 28 ounce can whole tomatoes in juice

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

1 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed

1 pound fresh pappardelle, tagliatelle or dried egg fettucine

freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • Bring 1 cup water and mushrooms to boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes.  Strain soaking liquid through a paper towel-lined sieve into a bowl, coarsely chop mushrooms and set liquid and mushrooms aside.
  1. Heat oil in heavy, large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, ¼ cup parsley and garlic.  Saute until vegetables are tender but not brown, about 5 minutes.  Push vegetables to the side of the skillet and add sausages.  Cook until brown, breaking it up with the back of a fork.  Add veal and sauté until brown, about 5 minutes.  Add wine, increase heat to high and boil until wine is almost evaporated, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add 1 cup chicken stock, boil 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add reserved mushroom liquid and simmer until liquid is almost evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  1. Transfer mixture to a food processor. Using about 4 small turns, process just until coarsely chopped.  Return mixture to skillet.  Mix in tomatoes with juices, bay leaves, fennel seeds and porcini mushrooms.  Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered until sauce thickens, breaking up tomatoes with fork, adding remaining chicken broth ½ cup at a time and stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.  Season with salt and pepper.  Ragu can be made 2 days ahead.  Cool slightly, chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep cold.
  1. Boil pasta (only 2 to 3 minutes for fresh tagliatelle or pappardelle, and 12 to 13 minutes from when the water returns to a boil for dried fettucine) and top with sauce, reheated. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and Parmesan.

from Bon Appetit Magazine, May, 2000

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