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Mushroom and Sausage Ragu

Servings 8

1/2 pound baby bella or white mushrooms brushed of any grit, sliced 3 teaspoons olive oil divided 1 medium onion chopped 3 large cloves garlic 1 pound italian sausage casings removed 1 pound ground beef extra lean 2 bay leaves 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional 6 cups marinara sauce 3/4 cup beef stock salt and pepper to taste

1 In a dutch oven, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat, add mushrooms and sauté for 5-6 minutes, until softened and they've given up their liquid. Transfer mushrooms to a small bowl.

2 Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pot and stir in the chopped onions. Cook 3-4 minutes until onions are softened and translucent.

3 Add sausage and ground beef and garlic. Using the back of a wooden spoon or fork, break apart the meat. Cook until the meat is browned. Spoon any excess fat from the browned sausage and beef and discard.

4 Add bay leaves, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, marinara sauce and mushrooms. Stir to combine. When the mixture starts to bubble, put the lid on the pot, slightly askew, turn the heat down to simmer and let the sauce cook and thicken, about 20 minutes.

5 Add the beef stock and simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve over pasta, gnocchi or spaghetti squash with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

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