Spicy Sausage Tomato Sauce

This is my basic, go-to, red sauce.  I use it to serve over any type of pasta,  lasagna,  and my stuffed manicotti or stuffed Italian shells.

My family won’t eat this (it’s too chunky).  When I do make it for them I have to use tomato sauce instead of the crushed tomatoes.  I personally think that not using the crushed tomatoes comprimises the flavor and texture of this delicious, yet simple, sauce.  Only if they knew what they were missing!

Look at all these delicious and fresh ingredients.  There is a little story behind the basil plant.  When I went to my market I shop at they had the most terrible looking basil, so I waited to see what the next market would have.  Low and behold they had these beautiful basil plants for a mere $2.00 each.  It is still in my window today, giving me wonderful gifts of fresh herbs.  It makes me want to grow an herb garden.

Enough about the basil already!  In a large stock pot put your spicy sausage, onions and garlic and start browning.  Breaking up the sausage with your spatula

Once the sausage has browned add your wine.  You can add white or red.  I prefer adding red wine, but if white is all I have, then I just go with that.

Let the wine reduce down just a little bit, about 5 minutes.

Add your crushed tomatoes, the fresh basil, oregano and crushed red pepper.  Now if the seasonings seem off a little bit I add a dash or two of garlic salt and a little bit of sugar if it tastes too acidic.  I think that each can of tomatoes are going to be just a little different.  I mean each crop is different, therefore yielding you just a different flavor each time you open a can of these delicious little gems.  So be sure to taste as you go, and add what you need.  The garlic salt and sugar will help with the acidity.

Can you tell what this is?  It is the rind of Parmesan Cheese.  Just toss it into the pot, and now let it simmer for about 30 minutes or so.

Enjoy this great sauce on your favorite pasta, in a lasagna or with your stuffed shells.  Your family will love you for it!

Spicy Sausage Tomato Sauce
Serves 6-8

2 pounds of Spicy Italian Sausage, casings removed
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 cup red or white wine
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 28-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes with added puree, flavored with Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried basil or 8 large fresh basil leaves, slivered
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

In a large skillet add the sausage, onions and garlic, crumbling the sausage and breaking it apart.  Once the sausage is fully cooked, drain excess fat and add to large stock pot.  Add wine, crushed tomatoes, olive oil and seasonings.  Increase heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes to blend flavors.  Stirring occasionally.  If the sauce seems too acidic add a little bit of white sugar to the sauce (about 1/2 tablespoon) and some garlic salt if it needs a little more seasoning.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling and salted water.  Serve sauce over pasta topped with freshy grated mozzarella cheese.

**Melissa’s Note:  This is a quick sauce that I use for my manicotti or stuffed Italian shells and even for a quick sauce for lasagna.


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  1. Pingback: Five Cheese Stuffed Shells or Manicotti | Delicious Dishes Recipes

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