Monday, December 1, 2014

Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Basil, Mushrooms and Spicy Italian Sausage

This is one of my pasta inventions. I saw what was available in the frig, pantry and garden one day and decided to toss them all together because it was, well, just one of those times when I wasn't feeling all that Martha Stuarty. I jotted down the recipe because it was pretty easy to make, flavorful (you can't go wrong with spicy Italian sausage) and Gil chowed it down. Enough said! I think this recipe would also work well with the addition of veggies such as eggplant, zucchini and/or bell peppers. 

1 cup diced red or yellow onion
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 15-oz. can chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 lbs. sliced button or cremini mushrooms
1 lb. spicy Italian sausage (or any other uncooked sausage that you like)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 half and half or cream
1/2 - 1 tsp. salt

1 lb. spaghetti or other pasta of your choice

1. Saute the onions in 2 tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until they start to turn translucent. Add the garlic and stir briefly.

2. Remove the sausage from their casings and add to the onion-garlic mixture in the pan. Break the sausage up with a spatula and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is just cooked through. 

3. Add the sliced mushrooms and saute for 5-6 minutes or until the mushrooms start to soften. Add the fresh tomatoes and can of chopped tomatoes. Stir and add half of the fresh basil. Season with black pepper and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

4. In the meantime, cook your pasta according to package directions (usually 10-12 minutes for al dente). 

5. Turn the heat up on the sauce and add 1/2 cup of grated parmesan and 1/4 cup of half and half or cream. Let cook for a minute or two until slightly thickened. Drain the pasta and stir into the simmering sauce. 

6. Turn off heat and stir in the remaining basil and 1/2 to 1 tsp. of salt, as needed. Let the pasta sit for about 5 minutes before serving. 

7. Serve family style on one large platter (everyone serves themselves) or on individual plates. Garnish with fresh basil and more parmesan. 

These are hot Italian turkey sausage links. Feel free to use pork sausage, regular (not spicy) Italian sausage, whatever floats your boat.  

Sliced mushrooms, chopped fresh basil, minced garlic, diced red onion, chopped tomatoes.  

Saute the onions in 2 tbsp. of olive oil until translucent. Add the minced garlic and stir briefly.  

Add the sausage (removed from casings), break up into pieces and cook until just done. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until they have softened.  

Stir in half of the basil, chopped fresh tomatoes, and canned tomatoes. Season with black pepper and sugar. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.  

Stir in 1/4 cup of half and half or cream and 1/2 cup of parmesan. 

 Add the cooked and drained pasta to the sauce. Heat briefly and turn off heat. Stir in the remaining fresh basil and season the pasta with additional (1/2 to 1 tsp. ) salt, as needed. Let the pasta sit for 5 minutes before serving. 

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