Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Hot Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce

So we just posted another pork sausage dish, but let me tell you this one is a little bit different... I promise :) Can anyone get enough of pasta, pork, or pasta sauce...let alone all three in one dish?  Exactly, I thought you'd say that. 

Now in this recipe, I used a spicy pork sausage, which gives the sauce a lovely spicy kick, but doesn't overpower the dish... who doesn't love a little kick in their pasta sauce?  If you do not like to be kicked, then by all means use a mild sausage, I'm sure it will taste just as yummy. 

I like to feed people until they can't breath anymore so based on that, I'm guessing this will easily feed 8. Maybe more?

3lbs Hot Italian Pork Sausage (12 links with casings) - I used Villa Roma brand
2 Red Onions - Diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14oz) can Tomato Sauce + 1 can water
12 Tbsp Tomato Paste
2 (28oz) cans Crushed or Diced Tomatoes
2 Cups Chicken Broth
1 Cup White Wine
2-3 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp Oregano (dried)
1 1/2 Tbsp Basil (dried)
2 Tbsp Onion Powder
1 Tbsp Thyme (dried)
3 Carrots - peeled
3 Celery Stalks
Olive Oil for saute
2 lbs pasta of your choosing (I used Linguine)

Items needed: 2 separate pots (I'm sorry to impose more clean-up on you)

Puree the carrots and celery in your food processor (if you have one) and set aside.  The end result will not be a smooth paste, but it will still have a chunky texture.  If you do not have a food processor (you could either run out and get one or nag and stomp your feet until one magically appears in your kitchen -not that I did that or anything), chop the carrots and celery as small as you can.

Cut the sausage into 1 inch pieces (leaving casings on).  In one pot, brown the pieces on all sides (olive oil not needed in this pot because the sausage has its own fat that will render).  

Meanwhile, in a separate pot, add about 1/4 cup olive oil and saute the onions until almost caramelized. They will turn a bit dark in color. If you have the time and patience, caramelize them! Your sauce will thank you for it!  This will take about 20-30 minutes (or almost 1 hour if you do a legit caramelization).  Remove the onions from this pot and put it in the pot with the sausage and try to leave as much of the oil in the pot if you can. 

Add the garlic in the pot that had the onions in it, and saute for a few minutes to release the flavor. You may need to add more olive oil, depending on how much you were able to keep, or how long you were able to hold out on cooking your onions.  Add the tomato paste and cook it for about 10 minutes, stirring ever so often.  This method of "cooking" the tomato paste will help cook out some of the acidity and give the sauce more depth of flavor.  Add the white wine and allow to reduce a little so as to cook out some of the alcohol flavor. Add the pureed celery and carrots to this tomato paste mixture and cook for another 10 minutes or so.  Transfer the celery/carrot/tomato paste mixture to the pot containing the sausage and onions.

Everything now should be in one pot. 

Add the tomato sauce + 1 can water, diced/crushed tomatoes and its juices, chicken broth, brown sugar, oregano, basil, thyme and onion powder.  Stir to combine. Cover and simmer on a low heat for 2-3 hours.  If you can go 3 hours, that would be great.  Don't go too far, you will need to stir it about 6-8 times per hour to make sure that the bottom doesn't stick too much.

The sausage will be very tender and the flavors from the sausage will be imparted into the sauce.  If you like, you can remove the casings from the sausage and crumble it to resemble ground beef.  You can do what you like depending on your preference.

If you can, try to find a sausage that has Fennel in it.  Fennel will impart a special "sausagy" flavor that will jazz up the sauce. If you like red wine instead of white, you could do that too.  If you prefer beef broth over chicken broth, you could do that too. You can do anything!