Did you feel the heat wave break this past week? I went from sweating in a summer dress to layering on the T-shirt/fleece combos in less than 5 days. Guess summer blew by and it is now officially Fall. Crazy! But the cooler weather made my culinary thoughts turn to a warm bowl of pasta for dinner so here’s this week’s La Honda Country Market recipe. I purchased all these ingredients at the Market, and my total came to less than $20. I have so much of this pasta left over we’re sure to enjoy it another night this week. Pair it with a green salad and some artisan bread and you’ve got a dinner winner! If you’re vegan or vegetarian, use the veggie ground beef substitute the Market keeps in the freezer instead of the sausage.
Pasta with sausage, tomatoes and mushrooms
2-3 pounds of Italian sweet sausage (or you can chop the pre-cooked sausages if you remove the casings)
6 large cloves of garlic-chopped (or use garlic powder in a pinch)
One package of mushrooms-sliced (8 oz)
3 cups of roughly chopped onions (yellow or red, it’s up to you)
3 tablespoons of oil
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh basil
1/8 cup chopped fresh oregano
1 cup dry white wine
5 cups canned crushed tomatoes with added puree
2 cups diced tomatoes (either 4 medium fresh ones or you can use canned)
2 T butter (1/4 stick)
1 ¼ pounds of pappardelle, bowtie or linguine pasta
1 ½ cups of grated Romano or Parmesan cheese (4½ ounces)
NOTE: Make sure the heat under your pan is at medium-high, not high, during this recipe.
Pour 3T oil into a heavy large pot and sauté crumbled sausage over medium-high heat until brown (10-12 minutes). If you’re using the yummy pre-cooked sausage from the Market, this step will only take a few minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a large bowl. Add mushrooms and onions to the pot and sauté until tender, 10-15 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of basil, oregano and garlic and sauté one minute. Add wine and cook 4-5 minutes until mostly absorbed. Add back browned sausage, add crushed tomatoes, and simmer for 25 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Add diced tomatoes, butter and simmer, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
NOTE: Up to this point, you can make it, cool it, then chill it uncovered in the refrigerator until cold, then cover it. When you want to have it for dinner, bring it to a simmer then continue with the recipe.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, but still firm to the bite. Drain well. Return to pot. Pour sauce over pasta. Toss to coat. Add ½ cup of cheese and ½ cup of basil. Toss again. Season with salt and pepper (and maybe even some of those crushed red peppers…yeah!)