Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summer Tomato Sauce with Italian Sausage

Fresh tomatoes are one of the many reasons I love summer. There is nothing better than a home-grown, ruby red stunner picked fresh off the vine. Grocery store “tomatoes” belong in another category entirely, as they can’t hold a candle to summer garden beauties! I had a pound of homegrown tomatoes to use up last weekend, so I made my favorite meal- pasta with a homemade tomato sauce! I made it extra special by adding Italian sausage and serving it over pappardelle, a noodle thicker than fettuccine that soaks up the sauce and melts in your mouth. I also added a few other special ingredients to this sauce that I’m sure you’ll love. Trust me, you could never buy anything in a jar that tastes this amazing!

Summer Tomato Sauce with Italian Sausage
Homemade sauce with fresh tomatoes... the best reason to eat pasta!Serves 4-6

1 pound garden tomatoes
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 pound ground Italian sausage (I prefer spicy)
1 cup Italian red wine, such as Chianti
8 oz. (1 container) baby portabella mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced (optional)
1 red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. fresh rosemary, minced
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp sugar
2 T Parmesan cheese, grated
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
1 pound pappardelle, or your favorite noodle

First prepare the garden tomatoes. Use a paring knife to remove the small core where the stem attaches. Bring a pot of water to a boil, drop the tomatoes in and cook for 3 minutes to loosen skins. Carefully remove tomatoes and plunge into ice water. When cool enough to handle peel skin off tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Use your hands to squeeze and break up the tomatoes.

Heat a large Dutch oven or skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and add ground Italian sausage. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat and cook until no longer pink. Scoop out the meat and set aside. Return Dutch oven to burner. If you’re using mushrooms add them to the pot and cook until browned. Spoon mushrooms into the meat mixture to set aside.

Return pot to burner over medium heat. Add the onion and red pepper to 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and sauté for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and sauté an additional 2 minutes, then add the garden tomatoes. Cook and stir frequently for 5 minutes. Add the can of crushed tomatoes and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and sugar. Cook for 5 more minutes, and then add the red wine. Continue to cook until sauce slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Add the meat/mushroom mixture and fresh rosemary to the tomatoes, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Stir in the basil and Parmesan cheese. Taste for seasonings and keep warm.

Meanwhile, cook your favorite noodle according to package directions. Drain and add it to the sauce. Stir and allow to cook together for a minute or two. Serve in large bowls with extra basil and Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Recipe by Sarah Lang

No comments:

Post a Comment