Beef & Pork Ragu with Creamy Mascarpone Polenta

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 1 hour

Serves: 8

Top this ragu recipe with a fried or poached egg for a great breakfast treat. Leftover sauce can also be served over pasta or frozen for later.

This recipe was inspired by Chef Gio Osso of Nico Heirloom Kitchen in Gilbert, Arizona.

Ingredients

For the ragu:

1 pound Niman Ranch ground pork

1 pound Niman Ranch ground beef

1 small onion, minced

1 large carrot, minced

1 celery stalk, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 28-ounce can peeled tomatoes, pureed

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon chopped oregano

2 tablespoons chopped basil

1 – 3 teaspoons red chile flakes, to taste

1/4 cup half-and-half

1 rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, optional

 

For the polenta:

6 cups chicken stock (or water)

3 garlic cloves, minced very fine

2 cups dry coarse polenta, also called corn grits

8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup half-and-half

1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1/4 cup chopped parsley, for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

For the ragu:

  1. Heat a large stockpot over medium high heat and brown the pork and beef together, using a spoon to break up any large pieces.
  2. Add the minced vegetables, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, chile flakes and half-and-half. Stir together and bring to a boil.
  3. Submerge the cheese rind into the sauce, reduce the heat to simmer and cook covered until the vegetables have “melted” into the sauce, about an hour.
  4. Stir the sauce periodically, and if desired, skim off excess fat that accumulates on the surface. Salt and pepper to taste.

 

For the polenta:

  1. While the ragu is cooking, combine the chicken stock, salt, pepper and garlic cloves in a large stockpot and bring to a boil.
  2. Slowly whisk in the polenta and continue whisking until it begins to thicken.
  3. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook covered until the grains are soft, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the mascarpone until melted. Stir in the half-and-half and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  5. To serve, spoon polenta into individual bowls and spoon the ragu sauce over the top. Garnish with fresh parsley.