At first glance there is nothing new about this sauce from Milk Street Kitchen. Heat fat, saute aromatics, add veggies, deglaze, add some other stuff, simmer while the pasta boils. And yet. I don’t know if it’s the cinnamon, or the way the flavors are layered (yes, I hate myself when I write things like that but it’s maddeningly descriptive) but this recipe is different and well worth making. It won’t take all day (in fact less than an hour) and won’t send you off on an ingredient treasure hunt.
It’s included in their new cookbook Milk Street Tuesday Nights which i hope you will buy from your local independent book monger. Or, ok, Amazon if you must. I know it’s cheaper and they own us all now.
Italian Sausage and Mushroom Ragu with Pappardelle from Christopher Kimball's Milk Street
In a 12" skillet over medium, heat the butter and garlic until the butter has melted and the mixture has begun to sizzle. Add the mushrooms and shallots and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and the shallots have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, stirring and breaking the meat into small pieces, until no longer pink, 8 -10 minutes. Discard any accumulated fat.
Increase to medium-high and add the wine. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the broth, cinnamon and ¾ teaspoon pepper. Continue to simmer until the broth has reduced by about half, 5 -6 minutes. Reduce to medium, stir in the tomatoes and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Set aside, covered.
While the sauce simmers, in a large pot bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add the pasta and 2 tablespoons salt and cook until the pasta is al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the sauce and toss to coat. If needed, toss in a few tablespoons of the reserved cooking water to thin the sauce to coat the pasta