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Mushroom-Sausage Ragù
© Hector Sanchez

Mushroom-Sausage Ragù

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"Sautéed mushrooms can make almost any inexpensive red wine taste better," says sommelier Jake Kosseff of Seattle's Wild Ginger.

  1. 1 cup dried morel mushrooms
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 2 sweet Italian sausages
  4. 1/2 pound shiitake caps, quartered
  5. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  6. 2 thinly sliced shallots
  7. 6 water chestnuts, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  8. 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  9. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  10. Chopped parsley, for garnish
  1. Soak the morels in 1 1/2 cups of boiling water until softened. Rinse and pat dry; reserve the soaking liquid. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the sausages, cover and cook over moderate heat until no longer pink within; slice 1/4 inch thick. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet. Add the shiitake, season with salt and pepper and cook until softened. Add the shallots and morels; cover and cook for 4 minutes. Add the water chestnuts. Pour in the morel soaking liquid. Add the sausages and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper. Off the heat, swirl in the butter and sprinkle with parsley. Serve over polenta.