Pasta Sauce with Italian Sausage (Recipe)

January 6, 2021

Let the good ingredients do the cooking tonight!

No-Fuss * Delicious * Quick * Hearty Pasta Sauce

I hesitate a little to step into the realm of pasta sauce. Evocative names like Ragu, Bolognese, Alfredo, and Primavera come to mind, as well as perfect wine pairings, long simmering, and influential regional traditions and family secret recipes. I love all the saucy nuances, and I don't deny that the all-day Ragu in Martin's lasagna recipe may be one of the reasons I married him.

But this is a different food group entirely. This is a weeknight ranch kitchen recipe, ultra stripped-down for maximum ease. I'm sure it breaks all sorts of rules. But most importantly, it's one of those fortuitous occasions when just a few good ingredients result in a really quick meal that tastes like you worked harder than you did! It scales easily so in days of yore (and hopefully the near future) it was also my go-to recipe for feeding unexpected company.

Pasta Sauce with Italian Sausage

1 lb Italian Links or Italian Sausage or Spicy Italian Links or Spicy Italian Sausage

1 onion, chopped

30 oz can crushed tomatoes

1/4 tsp basil

salt, pepper & honey to taste

Slice sausage links or crumble loose sausage and brown it in a pan. Add the chopped onion and cook until tender. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and basil and simmer for about 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired. The flavor of the tomatoes plays an important role in this dish - if it tastes a little sharp, add a dollop of honey or a sprinkle of sugar. Simmer a few minutes more and serve over your favorite pasta or vegetables.

Kitchen tip: My grandma always says "tomatoes call for sugar", and usually I find that she's right! Often I start the sauce with some sweet, local carrots to fulfill at least part of the sugar requirement, but in this case we're going for maximum speed and a spoonful of honey or other sweetener mellows the sharpness of the tomatoes quickly.

This sauce makes excellent leftovers for lunch and also freezes really well, so make a double batch to save even more time.

Charlotte Frederickson

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