Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Weekend Kitchen: Beef, Bacon & Mushroom Ragu

Now that fall is upon us and the weather has turned chilly (at least here in Michigan), I have been craving hearty, comfort foods.  This ragu made for a perfect Sunday dinner on a chilly day.  Recipe adapted from the September 2014 issue of Rachel Ray Magazine.

2 tablespoons EVOO                        
1/4 pound lean bacon or pancetta, chopped                        
1/4 pound cremini or portabella mushrooms, chopped                        
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme                        
1 bay leaf
1 pound ground beef                        
1 medium onion, minced                        
2 - 3 large garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups beef stock
1 pound pasta (I used orecchiette)                      
2 tablespoons butter
Freshly grated Parmesan

I used my Le Creuset Dutch oven for the first time to make this dish - I loved cooking with it!

1.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2.  In a deep skillet or large saucepan, heat the EVOO over medium-high. Add the bacon and cook until the fat melts, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, thyme and bay leaf. Cook until the mushrooms brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up into small pieces with a spoon, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper.
3.  Partially cover the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the stock, then reduce the heat to low and let the ragu simmer while the pasta cooks.
4.  Salt the water and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add the pasta and the cooking water back to the hot pot. Toss with half the ragu and the butter; season. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls topped with the remaining sauce and cheese.

Try this dish for dinner on a chilly fall day - You'll love it!


  1. As always, mouth watering..!! Definitely adding this to my must-make list. Looks like a perfect cozy Fall dinner. :)

  2. You're amazing in the kitchen. All of your recipes always look so delicious. I want to make this dish for my family. You had me at mushrooms!!!!


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