Monday, March 1, 2010

Spicy Italian Sausage Sauce with Penne

This is a variation on the traditional marinara pasta sauce, as it has the addition of hot Italian turkey sausages, and an abundance of colorful vegetables. The sweetness of the carrots and yellow pepper combines wonderfully with the hot peppery sausage.

You can use pork or turkey sausage, and both taste great. We chose turkey as it is the healthier option with less calories.

(serves 4)
  • 3 hot Italian sausages, skinned and sliced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3-4 small carrots, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 1/2 small yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons red wine
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • basil leaves for garnish (optional)
  • 8 oz dried penne
  1. Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and saute the crushed garlic. Add the tomatoes, dried oregano, dried basil, bay leaves, and red wine and bring to boil. Cook for 2 minutes at high heat. Reduce the heat and stir in the tomato paste, salt and pepper.
  2. Simmer the sauce for a further 6 minutes, then remove from the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a pan of boiling water for the pasta, and add the dried penne. Cook according to the instructions (about 10 minutes for al dente).
4. Skin the sausages, and cut into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Heat the sausages in a pan, adding a little water, if necessary - no oil is usually needed with Italian sausages. Cook for 5-6 minutes.

5. Add the chopped onion, carrot, bell pepper and celery to the pan and cook with the sausage meat for a further 5 minutes - 6 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

6. Add the marinara sauce to the sausage and vegetable mixture, and heat through.

7. When the pasta is cooked drain, and add to the sauce mixture.

8. Serve immediately, and garnish with the fresh basil leaves.

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