To broaden the scope of this blog, I’ve decided to write more about homecooked meals. I will also start posting recipes, something I haven’t done before. Occasionally, I’ll test a recipe from a cookbook or online, and let you know how it goes. As usual, I would love to get your feedback, so please let me know what you think about this new direction. Thanks!
When I’m lazy or not feeling very adventurous, I turn to a very basic tomato sauce-based pasta dish that is quick yet hearty. Also, it’s relatively cheap to make, which is especially important in this tough economic climate. I can’t promise you that it’s a “30-minute Rachel Ray” style dish, but it definitely takes me less than 40 minutes, mostly because I am a slow and perfectionist veggie chopper. Here’s one version of my recipe; I often mix it up by substituting different vegetables, meats, spices, sauce, or even pasta shapes. Buon appetito!
1 yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 lb hot Italian sausage, chopped into bite sized pieces (remove casing, if applicable)
1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
1 lb pasta (recommended: penne or linguini)
salt and pepper, to taste
Italian herbs, red pepper flakes, Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Boil a large pot of salted water for the pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain and put aside.
2. While pasta is cooking, fry the Italian sausage in a large, deep (2″) pan with high heat until thoroughly cooked. Decant sausage grease, if applicable. Put sausage aside (on top of paper towels, if desired).
3. Using same skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, add onions. After about 1 minute, add garlic (this prevents the garlic from burning). Add carrots soon after. Pan fry until onions are translucent.
(Optional: I often add herbs and spices at this point, such as salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, etc.)
4. Add sausage to veggie mixture. After mixing veggies and sausage, add the jar of sauce into the pan. Turn down the heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, mixing once or twice.
5. Turn off heat. Add pasta and mix thoroughly. Serve with grated Parmesan if desired.