Tomato Sausage Sauce

Submitted by: Mike Glazer
A flavor packed pasta sauce that's better than most of the stuff they sell on store shelves. It's also open to lots of experimentation, so try different flavor combinations to suit your needs.

Serves: 8

Preparation time:
Cooking time:

Ingredients

* 3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
* 1 small t(6 oz) in tomato paste
* 1 large (24 oz) tin petite diced tomatoes
* 1 large (24 oz) tin crushed tomatoes
* 4 spicy Italian sausages taken out of their casings (you can also use the stuff that comes in the plastic casings)
* 1 medium yellow onion finely diced
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 3 Tsp each dried Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary, Basil
* 1 Tsp Fennel Seed (use less if your sausages have fennel seed in them)
* 1 Tsp dried Marjoram
* 2 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
* 1 Tsp Cayenne
* 1 Tsp Cinnamon (optional)
* Juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 1/2 cup coarsely grated Romano cheese
* 2 Tbs granulated sugar
* 1 Tbs light brown sugar

Method

In a large braising pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil. When warm, add the garlic and onion and saute until just softened. Add the Italian sausages and begin to break them apart so that they're in small chunks (don't worry, they just have to be small enough to mix around the pot). Cook until the sausages are cooked through.

Add the tomato paste and wine and stir until the alcohol has evaporated. Lower the heat to low and add in the diced tomatoes (don't drain) and then half of the tin of the crushed tomatoes, and then begin to add the sugar, the lemon juice, the Romano cheese and all of the spices except the cinnamon. Reserve the other half tin of crushed tomatoes for later. Note that the spice measurements listed above are approximate, feel free to add more or less to your liking. Stir until mixed well.

Partially cover the pot to let the steam evaporate and let simmer for 1.5 - 2 hours until it is fairly thick. Turn off the heat and then begin to add the sauce to a blender in small batches (it will probably not all fit into a standard blender in a single batch). Pulse about 10-20 times until it's still chunky, but all of the sausages have been ground up, and the tomatoes don't look diced anymore. Pour all of the sauce back into the pot and then add the rest of the crushed tomatoes. Add the cinnamon and then simmer on low heat for another hour.

Serve by warming in a stainless steel frying pan on medium heat for 1 minute, then add the well drained cooked pasta. Stir until the pasta is well covered. Let sit on the burner until the sauce starts bubbling. Serve immediately with some grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese.

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