Penne pasta slathered with a hearty sausage and mushroom ragu full of bold flavors and fresh ingredients.

Sausage & Mushroom Ragu from

Today’s post is all about wine and entertaining. Gallo Family Vineyards is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its very popular Hearty Burgundy wine, and we’re going to join the celebration. Are you with me? Of course you are. All it took was the mention of wine, and you guys are already lining up, fancy glasses in hand. Lucky for you, Gallo sent me a twofer (two bottles in one), so I have plenty to go around.

The key to entertaining is to make it as stress free as possible. A little planning goes a long way. I’m the meal planner, entertainer, host, and general leader in our family when it comes to entertaining and food preparation. When holidays come around or events pop up, I’m the gal they call. My friends use me as their personal hosting consultant when they’re planning their own gatherings. I get calls and texts regarding food preparation and ingredient selections. I’m honored, but soon I’m going to have to start charging—just kidding, folks.

From past experience, I’ve learned to create a menu and stick to it. That means no last minute changes or that-looks-yummy-let’s-add-that additions. When I first started hosting Thanksgiving, I was so excited that I added just about every dish to the menu. I quickly learned that I’m not the Hulk and executing twenty dishes wasn’t possible.

Sausage & Mushroom Ragu from

Less is more when it comes to planning a menu. One to two appetizers are all you need. For the main course, pick a few, and by a few, I mean four to five items–not ten. One dessert will suffice. We’re looking to trim it down a bit and make it as easy as possible for the host. If you’re responsible for 20+ items, you’ll never get dinner on the table; unless, of course, you have whisking super powers that no one knows about. If that’s the case, carry on.

After you plan your menu, compile your grocery list. A grocery list makes shopping so much easier. Having a list helps cut down on the time you’ll spend in the store, and it decreases your chances of forgetting a pertinent item. The last thing you need to occur while entertaining is having to make more than one trip to the grocery store, so don’t forget your list. If you want to get specific, you can categorize your list into sections: produce, dairy, meat, canned goods, etc.


Once you have your menu planned and shopping complete, the next thing to do is figure out which items on your menu can be prepared ahead of time. Prepping produce, chopping veggies, and preparing dressings or sauces can be prepared in advance and stored until the day of the event. If you’re making dessert, that can be prepared ahead of time. To make it easier on yourself, choose a dessert that can be prepared a day or two ahead of time. I usually choose cake, pie, or mousse for such occasions.

Sausage & Mushroom Ragu from

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Call in some reinforcements. So what if your husband whines. That can be easily solved by threatening his meal ticket to the dinner table. He’ll be slicing and dicing in no time.

Today I’ll be entertaining with my hearty recipe for sausage & mushroom ragu, a hearty mixture of spicy sausage, earthy baby portobello mushrooms, tomatoes, wine, beef stock, cheese, and fresh herbs slathered over penne pasta.

Sausage & Mushroom Ragu from

Gallo Family Vineyards’ Hearty Burgundy wine is smooth and mildly oaky with a subtle hint of sweetness. It’s the perfect addition to recipes made with red meat, sausage, and pasta. Not only did I pair this wine with the meal, I also deglazed the pot with it when making the sauce. It adds a bold pop of flavor to the ragu.

For a sauce that comes together in under 40 minutes, the flavors in this dish run deep. The hearty tomatoes mingle with the rich Hearty Burgundy to create a robust sauce full of spicy sausage, sweet red peppers, and fresh herbs. Your guests will love this easy meal.

Add a side salad and some crusty bread, and you have yourself a bold meal that comes together in under 40 minutes.

Sausage & Mushroom Ragu from

You can follow Gallo Family Vineyards on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Click to find a store near you that sells Gallo Family Vineyards’ wine.

Sausage & Mushroom Ragu from

Sausage and Mushroom Ragu

Penne pasta slathered with a hearty sausage and mushroom ragu full of bold flavors and fresh ingredients.


1 pound penne pasta, cooked and drained

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 pound spicy bulk sausage

8 ounces portobello mushrooms, sliced

1 large onion, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup diced red pepper

1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 (14.5 ounce) can beef broth

1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup semi-dry red wine (such as Gallo Hearty Burgundy)

2 tablespoons fresh basil (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dry)

2 tablespoon fresh parsley (or 2 teaspoons dry)

1 teaspoon fresh oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon dry)

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste



Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and brown, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks, until the sausage is cooked through and no longer pink. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the mushrooms. Sauté until they begin to brown (do not add salt), cooking for about 4-5 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper, red pepper flakes, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and peppers soften, about 5 minutes.

Stir in red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to release the brown bits. Cook until the wine reduces to about half, about 3 minutes. Stir in the beef broth, crushed tomatoes, cooked sausage, and, if using, dried herbs. Bring the sauce to a gentle bubble, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in fresh herbs and parmesan cheese. Give the sauce a sample and add salt and pepper to taste.

Turn off the heat and gently fold in the cooked pasta. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parmesan cheese.


Inspired by Rachel Ray

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Check out the other recipes using Gallo Hearty Burgundy:

Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.