I love sausages and I especially love sausage meat with pasta. Sausage meat is the best thing for making meatballs and letting the succulent globes simmer in tomato sauce allows the flavors of the spices in the meat to get into the sauce. I would have made meatballs with my Italian sausage meat but Alex isn’t too fond of them so I simply browned the sausage meat in olive oil but stirring making sure that the meat broke up into fairly large chunks.
Italian sausage can be bought at meat delis but, if you have the time and are up for the little extra work, there’s nothing like mixing your own sausage meat. It’s easy. Just mix ground meat with seasonings and spices and allow to marinate overnight in the fridge. For this recipe, I followed Emeril Lagasse’s recipe for homemade mild Italian sausage but used more garlic and minus the ground anise, red wine and casings.
Any pasta shape should be good for this recipe but I have a particular fondness for long strands that I can twirl with a fork. I’d have have used ribbon-cut pasta but I had none, so I simply cooked several sheets of lasagna noodles then cut them into half inch lengths.
For the chiffonaded basil, click here for illustrated instructions.
- 2 to 3 tbsps. of olive oil
- ½ kg. of Italian sausage meat
- 2 bell peppers, diced
- 2 plump tomatoes, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 c. of pureed fresh tomatoes
- a pinch of oregano
- a little sugar, for balance
- 150 g. of pasta, undercooked by about five minutes
- chopped parsley and chiffonaded basil, to garnish
- grated Parmesan, to garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a pan.
- Add the sausage meat and brown.
- Throw in the bell peppers, diced tomatoes and onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for a couple of minutes.
- Pour in the tomato puree and sprinkle in the oregano. Stir. Taste. Add more salt and pepper, as needed, and a bit of sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.
- Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Add the pasta, stir and continue simmering, covered, for another five minutes or until the pasta is al dente and has soaked up most of the sauce.
- Divide the cooked pasta among three to four bowls, sprinkle with parsley, basil and grated Parmesan. Serve immediately.