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Playing Double-Meat White Ragu


  • 1 handful dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound bucatini (hollow spaghetti) or pici (fat spaghetti, not hollow)
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 pound ground veal, patted dry
  • 1/3 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 small carrot, finely shopped or grated
  • 1 small rib celery with leafy top, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 10 to 12 small sage leaves, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • Grated Pecorino Romano cheese, for serving


Serves: 4


Place mushrooms in a small saucepan and cover with the stock or water. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer on very low heat to reconstitute (or pour 1 cup boiling water over them, cover and let stand for 10 minutes).

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta-cooking water.

While the pasta is working, in a heavy pot, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over high heat until smoking. Stir in the veal to brown slightly then stir in the sausage, crumbling the meat as it cooks. Add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic and sage; season generously with salt and pepper. Cover and cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, then stir in the wine to deglaze, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Remove the mushrooms from their soaking liquid and chop. Stir into the ragu with their strained liquid, leaving any sediment behind. Stir in the milk, lower the heat to medium-high and cook to thicken.

Stir the reserved 1 cup pasta cooking water into the ragu. Add the pasta and toss to coat. Top with a liberal amount of cheese.