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Italian Sausage and Pasta

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This is a great menu for company. Cook the sauce ahead and reheat to tease everyone’s senses. They’ll love you for it.

female chef


 

Spaghetti Sauce

Tomato and Garlic Sauce

  • Makes about 3½ cups
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. garlic pressed or finely chopped
  • 3 cans 14.5oz. each diced tomatoes – Red Gold is my favorite
  • 1 can 6oz. tomato paste – Contadina is my favorite
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • ¼ cup or less red wine
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. dried basil
  • 2 medium – large bay leafs
  • 1½ tsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

In a 3-4 quart saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, but not brown. This will take 5 – 8 minutes. Stir frequently. Add in the garlic and stir constantly for 1 or 2 minutes. Again, make sure nothing browns or the sauce will be bitter. Blend in the tomatoes and their liquid and all the other ingredients. Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 – 1 ½ hours.

The sauce should be thick and fairly smooth when finished. Remove the bay leafs. If you prefer a smoother texture, puree in a food processor.


Italian Sausage

  • 5 Italian sausage links – mild or hot
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • Red and/or yellow peppers cleaned and cut into strips
  • Olive oil
  • Oregano

Preheat oven to 350°F

Pour the chicken stock in a baking dish. Nestle the sausage in the stock. Bake for 30 minutes.

Turn the sausage, then lay the pepper strips on top. Sprinkle with oregano and drizzle with a little olive oil. Cook for 30 minutes.

Leftover sausage freezes well. Later, use them for sandwiches on crusty rolls and smothered in the tomato sauce. Serve with French fries for an easy meal.


 

rigatoni

Pasta

Select your favorite brand. Mine is Barilla and I prefer rigatoni for this meal.

Cook according to package directions. Add a tablespoon or so of olive oil to the cooking water to help the pasta not stick together.

Make sure the pasta is al dente and not too soft. Drain well.

To serve, empty into a bowl with the Parmesan cheese on the side.


 

Salad Photo by tiramisustudioPhoto by tiramisustudio

Salad

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice*
  • Coarse salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Lettuce – Romaine and Red Leaf make a wonderful combination
  • 1 tomato quartered then cut into pieces
  • 2 green onions cleaned and
  • 10 black olives
  • 4 Pepperoncini

Beat the oil, vinegar, and lemon juice together. Season with salt and pepper.

Tear lettuce into bite size pieces. Add tomato and onion. Gently toss with the dressing.

Spoon the salad into a glass bowl. Lay the olives and Pepperoncini. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

*Minute Maid makes frozen lemon juice that keeps for 8 weeks in the fridge. It’s cheaper than fresh lemons and just as good.

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