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Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce with Italian Sausage

From the Vault: My parents are visiting so while I’ve been doing a lot of cooking I haven’t been taking pictures nor do I have tons of writing time. So here, enjoy this pasta dish, it’s wicked good. Would be even better if you made the sauce in a big skillet and mixed the pasta in to cook a bit with it instead of ladling it over at the table. But really, both are fantastic.

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1 large red pepper, roasted
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion
2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
4 Italian sausages (1/2 lb)

Brown and crumble the sausage, remove it to a paper towel lined plate, cover it and put it in the fridge. Remove all but a tbl of the fat from the pan and brown the onions. Add the garlic and saute till aromatic, about 30-40 seconds. Add the bay leaf, basil and oregano and saute for 20 seconds or so. Add the vinegar to deglaze, then add the tomatoes. Dice the pepper and add it in as well. Let simmer for at least an hour or up to 3. If you want it chunky you can hit it with a potato masher a couple times, if you want it smooth hit it with a immersion blender. Add the sausage back in and let it simmer for another half hour or so. Add salt and pepper to taste, serve over pasta.

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Love this sauce, the roasted red peppers add a great sweetness to it and something about Italian sausage and tomato sauce is just awesome. You can use spicy or sweet sausage in this, whatever you enjoy most. I use sweet because my girlfriend doesn’t feel it for spicy and she does the grocery shopping. If you want it chunky you don’t have to hit it with the blender, we just like tomato sauce smooth. Plus if you leave it chunky you don’t have to leave the sausage out till the end, unless you don’t want pieces of sausage. Anyway, here is what I did.

First I roasted a pepper. I love roasted peppers, they are just awesome. This one was pretty big. How big? Bigger than a can of tomatoes. I like a lot of pepper flavor in the sauce. If I had only had small ones I would have used two. After roasting, I sliced off the top and bottom, took out the seeds and spread it out for slicing. Of course that’s the only thing I got a decent shot of. Then I cut it into chunks and set it aside. Next I browned up the sausage. I had taken these out of the casing to make crumbling easier. Once they were all nicely browned I pulled them out. I put them on a paper towel lined plate to soak up any excess fat (there was more than enough left in the pan, too much would over power the other flavors) then tossed it into the fridge since I didn’t want to let it sit out for the whole cooking time.Mmmmm, that’s one fondy pot. It’s going to make the sauce nice and rich. Browned up the onions, then the garlic. I didn’t worry about mincing the garlic too fine since I was going to blend it, but if you are leaving it chunky you might want to make the pieces smaller. Or leave them big, if you like big chunks of garlic. Once the garlic was done I added in the spices and sauteed them for a minute. This helps bring out the oils from them, which brings out the flavor. Then I deglazed with the vinegar, although I didn’t get a good picture of it. Red wine would be good too, but I didn’t have any. Once I had scraped up the fond I added in the tomatoes. Then the pepper chunks. Then I let it simmer for about an hour, making sure to stir it every once and a while so it didn’t burn. I would have done it longer, but I had to be at work in a couple hours. Don’t forget to take out the bay leaf! I didn’t want it in there when I blended it with the wand mixer. Blending it makes it nice and smooth, helps it cling to pasta. Then the sausage went back in and I let it simmer for another half hour or so to let the flavors mingle. I added a little black pepper, but it didn’t need salt since the canned tomatoes I used had plenty in them. And that’s it. Some pasta, a little cheese and a goodly amount of sauce and you have a meal.Good stuff folks. A little cream in the sauce would have been good too or some Parmesan. Add a little extra richness. Not that it really needs it. Heh.

Filed under: pasta, sausage

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This work by Bob is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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