Thursday, September 22, 2011

the easy sauce.

I worked in an Italian Deli when I was younger. I learned a few things there. If you work in a deli and your boyfriend (Matt) picks you up after work, you can't be offended when he gets excited and says "Oh, you brought olives home" if you didn't. The thing is, you stink of olive oil and olives no matter what you do to avoid it. I learned that... and how to make a really easy and delicious pasta sauce. 

The key to this sauce is the quality of Italian sausages you have. In Vancouver, I suggest Moccia, Bosa Foods or any good Italian place on Commercial or East Hastings. I'm not eating pasta these days, Matt and Hannah will have the sauce on pasta and I'll have mine on spaghetti squash (just as good!).

Italian Sausage Tomato Sauce
500 g Italian Sausage (I used mild, hot would work, half and half would be best)
2 red peppers, chopped
1 onion (red or white), finely chopped
2 gloves of garlic, finely chopped
796 ml tin of good quality canned whole tomatoes
1/2 cup basil, roughly chopped
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Heat a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Remove sausage from casing and put in pot. Break up the meat with a wooden spoon and brown, takes about 8 minutes. Drain some of the fat out of the pan, leaving about 1 tbsp in the pan with the meat. Add peppers and onion and saute with meat for 5 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, squishing and breaking up the tomatoes with your hands as you add them to the sauce, make sure to add all the juice from the can too. Add garlic, sugar, balsamic and half of the basil. Season with salt and pepper. Let simmer uncovered for 20 minutes until sauce has thickened up a bit and tomatoes have broken down. Add remaining 1/4 cup chopped basil and serve.

Delicious on pasta, squash, or on its own with a crusty piece of bread. Delicious with a good grating of parmesan. And like any tomato based sauce, its even better the next day!

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