The definition of a heavenly marriage: Tomato sauce and sausage in pasta. It is easy to make as ABC but tasty as XYZ! If you have young kids at home, honey garlic sausage is the best choice. However, if you are looking for excitement and an extra kick to your taste bud, a spicy Italian sausage is your best bet. Get to know your local Italian butcher shop and find out if they make their sausage in-house. Each shop has its own sausage recipe from generation down. I rarely buy my sausage from “Super market” for this reason.
This is a very simple recipe. From start to finish takes about 30 minutes. A small side salad and a good quality Italian bread dip in olive oil can make your cold winter night turns into a romantic evening! Oh don’t forget a glass of red wine!
Penne pasta 1 box (about one lb)
Honey Garlic Sausage 4 (can substitute with hot or mild Italian sausage)
Sweet onion 1 (julienne)
Mushroom ¼ lb (thin slice)
Mild Pancetta 100 gm (thin slice)
Italian parsley small bunch (finely chopped)
Caper 1 teaspoon
Sun dried tomato 100 gm (julienne-steam tomato for 10 minutes before cutting
Shallot 1 (julienne)
Parmigiano-Reggiano 100 gm (grated)
Tomato sauce 4 cups (see my Eddy’s killer tomato sauce recipe)
Bring large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook pasta according to the package instruction to al dente (firm but not hard.)
In a frying pan over medium heat grill the sausage for three to four minutes each side and cut to thin slices when done. In a separate large deep skillet over medium-high heat, grill the pancetta (like cooking bacon) till crispy. Turn the heat down to medium low add olive oil and onion, shallot. Stir frequently and cook until the onion is soft and caramelized with fragrant, about 5 to 7 minutes. Take the onion out and set aside for later use. Put mushroom in the skillet cook for six to seven minutes or till tender.
Add tomato sauce and sausage to the skillet. Stir in all the ingredients (Caper, caramelized onion, sun dried tomato, and ½ the chopped parsley) and combine everything together., Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste and let simmer for 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and add directly to the skillet. Toss the pasta to coat with the sauce. Turn off heat and add half of the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Crumble half the cooked crispy pancetta and add to the pasta. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter and garnish with basil leaves and parsley. Finally place the rest of the whole pancetta on top of the pasta. Sprinkle more Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on top before serving. Dinner is ready!
Eddy’s Special Killer Tomato Sauce:
20 x Roma tomato
1 bunch fresh basil leave – about 25 leaves
4 x Shallots
1x sweet Walla Walla onion
10 x cloves of garlic
Extra Virgin oil
2 x cookie trays
Roughly chop up fresh basil, shallot, garlic, and onion and spread it evenly on cookie trays. Cut tomato to halve and place it face up on top of the onion/shallot/basil/shallot mixture. Dash a generous amount of extra virgin oil all over the tomato and sprinkle sea salt and fresh crack black pepper on top.
Pre-heat oven to 375 F0 and bake the tomato for 90 minutes. After the trays are cool of, scrap the content from one tray to a food processor and blend it to a sauce. Repeat the same procedure with the second tray. Drain the sauce to a medium size pot and simmer it for alt least three hours under low heat. (this procedure can further reduce the acidity of the tomato) Leave it on the stove top over night (without opening the top) and simmer it again the next day for another two hours.
Now the sauce is ready for your pasta or you can make it into meat sauce or meat ball recipe.
Italian meat ball with tomato sauce:
½ LB ground beef
½ LB ground pork
½ LB ground veal
½ cup fine bread crumb
1 tea spoon of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
1/8 cup of fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano
½ tea spoon of mince garlic
¼ cup of water
Mix the above ingredients well in a bowl and use your palm to make a slightly flatten meat ball. (don’t make it too perfectly round as you can’t brown it properly).
Heat up a medium size cooking pot (well seasoned) and pour small amount of vegetable oil in it. Brown both side of meat ball and pour your pre-made tomato sauce in it and simmer it under low heat for about four hours.
Prepare you favour pasta and pour sauce with meat ball on top. Sprinkle fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on top and serve with some good quality fresh bread.