Pasta is one of those things that's just hard to mess up. As long as you start with good ingredients, you're sure to end with something delicious.
While at the farmers market the other day, I was inspired by seeing all the fresh tomatoes to make a pasta sauce. I purchased a pepper and onion to accompany it. Another day, at our local health food store, I selected a bunch of vine tomatoes and a box of crimini mushrooms. Plus I had half a pound of grass-fed Italian sausage (also purchased at the farmers market) in the refrigerator to use up.
Once I got home I put Helen down for her nap and started prepping my ingredients. It's almost therapeutic for me to chop vegetables without interruption. I added the ingredients one by one to the pot and slowly cooked them together.
The blend of all the fresh ingredients made for an awesome sauce (yes, I did that on purpose). Reuben heartily approved.
When following this recipe, make sure you add your own personal touch. There's just something satisfying about making a dish your own. If you like your sausage with a kick, by all means use spicy Italian! If you don't care for mushrooms, leave them out! Experiment!
Hearty Pasta Sauce
recipe by Erica Lea of Buttered Side Up | Makes 2-4 servings (depending on how hungry you are)
- 1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 medium onion, diced small
- 1 small box crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 6 vine tomatoes (about 1 bunch), diced medium
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 tablespoon cane sugar
- your favorite pasta (I used wide egg noodles)
1) Cook the sausage until no longer pink.
2) In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and the butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the onion, lower the heat, and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook until the onions are almost transparent, about 3 more minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until everything is nice and soft. Add the garlic and salt and pepper to taste and cook for 2 more minutes.
3) Add the tomatoes, oregano, basil, sugar and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Increase heat to medium and bring to a boil. Simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes. Add the cooked sausage and stir to combine.
4) Meanwhile, as the sauce is simmering, bring a pot of water to boil. Add salt and stir in your pasta. Cook to desired firmness (I like mine a little past al dente). Serve with lots of sauce and a sprinkling of parmesan. Enjoy!