Friday, May 11, 2012

Sausage Spaghetti, Again

So. Y'all.

When in doubt, I make pasta. It's fast. It's easy. It's cheap. It can host endless flavor profiles.

I say endless flavor profiles. And I make pasta with cream sauces as well as tomato sauces, tuna and shrimp and ground beef and no meat at all. Asian stir fries with rice noodles and more familiar Italian-American dishes.

But let's face it. When in doubt, I make sausage spaghetti. It's as easy as a ground beef meatsauce, but automatically more flavorful because the meat's already seasoned. There are no fewer than three recipes for the stuff already on this blog, two featuring ground sausage and one with the exact same kielbasa I used last night (I mean, the same brand and whatever, not the same exact sausage that we ate three years ago. Because, gross).

I probably should combine them into one epic Sausage Pasta How To post, and perhaps I one day will.

But for today, I'm just ecstatic that I finally cooked dinner for the first time in probably two months.

Goodbye, debilitating sickness. Hello, delicious, delicious foods.

Sausage Spaghetti Redux

Boil water for pasta.
In case you need to know what that looks like.
Cut up a delicious kielbasa or other link-type sausage. Our favorite is Pederson Farms brand; I buy several of them when they go on sale at Whole Foods. But then, we don't live in the land of Trader Joe's or anything else interesting, so go with your own favorite.

Add some olive oil to a large skillet (you're going to make the sauce in it, so make sure it's big enough).
You can tell how full my pour-bottle is by how much or
how little olive oil I put in the pan.
Heat the pan.

Add your sausage and some pressed garlic to the hot pan.
Kielbasa and garlic.

Brown the sausage, about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Smell the delicious goodness.
Browned. You could drain the fat off if you like.

Toss in a can of tomato sauce and some grape tomatoes that you have lying around. Other things I like to add at this stage (if I have them) are carrots, zucchini, yellow squash (all shredded), mushrooms, diced tomatoes (fresh or canned; I was going to add a can of them to this but it was my last one), more grape or cherry tomatoes (whole or halved), sliced fennel...pretty much anything that you can either shred to add volume without impacting flavor too much, or that you like the flavor of. I, for instance, think big pieces of sliced zucchini in my pasta sauce are awesome; the DDH disagrees but will eat sauce with shredded zucchini in it.


Season to taste. I added 1 Tbs. basil, 1/2 Tbs. oregano, and 1 tsp. fennel seed. A grind or two of black pepper; the sausage was salty enough that I didn't add any salt, but your tastes (or sausage) may vary. This sausage was spicy but another trick to cut the sweetness of tomatoes and some sausages without adding sodium is to use a bit of hot pepper, such as cayenne or chile powder, or even diced jalapenos.
Three herbs.
Allow sauce to simmer while your pasta finishes cooking, or about ten minutes.
Nom nom nom.
Combine pasta and sauce* and enjoy!
*A note: The DDH wishes I wouldn't combine the pasta and sauce. And considering I was That Kid who wanted a serving of plain pasta and a serving of plain sauce next to it, not combined, I'm really not sure why I do. I think I just want to dump the pasta from the colander into the saucepan so I can wash the other pot and be done with it. And I always forget the DDH doesn't like it that way. But he has a point--when stored, the leftover pasta tends to absorb the pasta, which paradoxically makes it dry when you reheat it, which is not the tastiest.

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