We love pasta. We have it so often we should be Italian. This dish is so flavorful and easy to make. If you’ve never made your own sauce before, this recipe is a great start. The garlic infused tomato-basil sauce practically makes itself.
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
12 oz Sweet Italian Sausages
5-6 cloves garlic minced
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 + 1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
Freshly cracked pepper
28 oz crushed tomatoes (with basil preferred)
1 lb penne pasta
1 Tbsp salt
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan plus more for topping
1 Tbsp fresh basil chiffonade, rolled then sliced (optional)
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the sausages and brown on all sides (all possible sides, as sometimes they curl up loosely like the letter U). Remove the sausages and set aside on a cutting board. Place the garlic into the skillet and let cook about 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce and sugar to the sautéed garlic, stir; scraping any sausage and/or garlic from the bottom of the pan and into the sauce. Add oregano, basil and pepper (just a sprinkling). Stir and let simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally. Let the flavors fuse and develop about 15 -20 minutes. In the mean-time, in a pot, bring water to boil and add about a tablespoon of salt. Cook pasta according to package directions, without need to strain the pasta in a colander. (Side note: if you haven’t seasoned your pasta water before, you should start now. When your noodles are seasoned in their own right, it just makes the whole dish better.)
While pasta is cooking, add your crushed tomatoes and teaspoon of sugar to the simmering tomato sauce and stir. Tomatoes are usually salty, but taste for seasoning in case any herbs or salt and pepper need to be adjusted. Let the flavors come together. While you waiting for your pasta to cook and sauce to fuse, cut the sausages on a diagonal angle. Add the sausages to the pasta sauce and gently stir. Then (timing this correctly) turn off the heat to the sauce, and lift the cooked pasta out of the boiling water and add to the skillet of sauce and sausages. Gently toss the pasta and let it start to absorb all of the sausage and garlic infused tomato flavor. Then add the grated Parmesan, stirring gently, watch it melt into being part of the sauce. Move the pasta to a large pasta bowl or platter (or right in the skillet if you prefer, I won’t judge), sprinkle with a little more grated cheese on the top and basil. Serve family style. Buon appetito!