#FoodFocus – Chunky Mushroom Ragu

When I started this blog, I wanted to empower young adults, particularly those starting off on their own or moving away for school, with a resource of nutritious and simple-to -prepare recipes. Too often, students, for example, opt for fast food for the sake of convenience and time. Nutritionally, this is probably not the best choice. But with fast food being fast and cheap, this choice appeals to students on a budget or a young adult just starting out.

I wanted to show that it doesn’t have to be this way. My hope is to inspire and empower, to provide some basic nutritional information and to show how easy it can be to eat healthy without sacrificing flavour or the budget!

The featured recipe on this page is for a chunky mushroom ragù (meat sauce) that is affordable to make and tastes delicious.

You will need:
1 lb ground beef
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 celery rib, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 large green bell pepper, diced
3 or more button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 can crushed tomato
3 large fresh basil leaves or 1 Tbsp dried basil
salt and pepper

 

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  • In a medium saucepan, brown the ground beef until no longer pink.
  • Season it with a bit of salt and pepper.
  • Move the beef over to the side of the pot and add the olive oil to the other side.
  • Toss in the onion, garlic, celery, bell pepper and mushrooms and saute them for a few minutes.
  • Mix the beef with all the vegetable mixture and adjust the seasoning. (I buy the tomatoes with no salt added so I have control over the amount that I use.)
  • Add the tomato, basil plus a full can of water and stir it all together.
  • Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, cover and simmer for about 2 hours.
  • Adjust for seasoning

*A note about basil:
Fresh basil is so aromatic and wonderful! Crushing it or lightly hitting it with the back of your knife before chopping it releases its oils and imparts its deliciousness to the sauce a lot better than just chopping it. And your kitchen will smell heavenly!

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Chunky Mushroom Ragu

 

Voilà! Ready to top off a plate of pasta or even a bowl of creamy polenta

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Polenta with Chunky Mushroom Ragu

 

This recipe yields 2 large (1 litre) Mason jars of sauce at a cost of about $5 (CAD) total, enough for about 8 servings. AND you know the ingredients that went into making it were fresh and preservative-free.

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Chunky Mushroom Ragu

 

**A note about pasta and sauces:
The best pastas for a meat sauce of any kind are the ones that will ‘hold’ the sauce such as rigatoni, penne rigate, or rotini. This ensures a tasty forkful every time!

 

Life is a combination of magic and pasta – Federico Fellini

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