Yields 4 to 6 servings
5 spicy Italian sausages (cut lengthwise then sliced in half moons)
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 small sweet onion (finely diced)
2 carrots (finely diced)
3 celery stalks w/leaves (finely diced)
3 garlic cloves (finely minced)
1 Tbsp. Tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
1 28 oz. can whole/peeled Italian tomatoes w/juice (hand crushed in separate bowl)
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp. fresh thyme or 1 Tbsp. Dried
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano or 1 Tsp. Dried
1 Tbsp. fresh basil or 1 Tsp. Dried
1 Tsp. sugar (if needed to balance acidity of tomatoes)
Pinch of red pepper flake
Kosher or Sea salt to taste
Fresh cracked Black pepper to taste
Fresh Parmesan cheese (grated)
Fresh Italian parsley chopped (for garnish)
8 to 16 oz. of Penne pasta (cooked using box directions). Amount of pasta depends on the servings needed
In a heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven add olive oil on medium to medium high heat. Add sausage and brown on all sides. Remove and place on paper towels to drain.
With the drippings in the pot add onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often. As it begins to brown, add carrots, celery, garlic, and a pinch of salt/pepper. Cook 3 to 4 minutes until veggies are tender, stirring often. Add red wine to deglaze bottom of pot, scraping up brown (FLAVOR) bits. Stir until wine is reduced by half. Add tomato paste and cook with veggies for 1 minute. Add tomatoes w/juice, chicken broth, and sausages and reduce heat to medium low. Add thyme, oregano, basil, red pepper flake, salt, and pepper. Stir well and allow to simmer 5 to 10 minutes. Then taste, adding sugar if needed and adjust the salt and pepper if needed. Adjust heat to low and simmer for 1 to 2 hours or until sauce has thickened.
In large pot bring approx. 2 quarts of water to a boil. Season water with salt and a good amount of olive oil. Cook until pasta is al dente and drain thoroughly saving a little of the pasta water in a cup. Add 1 to 2 Tbsp. of pasta water to sauce and stir well. Add pasta to sauce mixing well for 1 to 2 minutes, making sure the noodles are covered. Serve with fresh grated Parmesan sprinkled on top and fresh parsley for garnish.
If you don’t care for spicy foods, use sweet or mild Italian sausage and omit red pepper flakes in this recipe. Allergic to onions? Just skip them and add 1 medium red pepper diced finely. Roast the pepper with a little olive oil for 20 to 25 minutes in a 400 degree oven. The roasted red pepper will give you that sweetness that you need without the onion.