default dinner: sausage and pasta
And tomatoes of coarse!
I was browsing through my category of default dinners, and realized that this token fall, hearty and warm recipe was missing. Sure, you can eat it any time of year but truth be told, this is the time when we bring out the blankets, crank up the heat and draw the curtains. We love being warm and cozy inside while it is blustery, wet and dark outside.
This year, my whole family is into it. We turn on some nice jazz music, light a few candles and heat up the stove. When schedules are busy, it is a treat to be at home, together, with a bowl full of pasta... And then you sautee garlic, the aroma sneaks through the whole house, and everyone's mood is elevated.
Actually, the garlic is optional. When I make this sauce, the ingredient list ranges happily between 4 and 9. The key is to let is simmer long so the flavors marry and develop. Here is the recipe topped out at all 9 ingredients:
Sausage Pasta 2-3 T olive oil 3 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 - 2/3 cup chopped onion (I have used sweet yellow and red onion, both are great) 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, crumbled 1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes, plus (go for the more expensive brand here, with fancy Italian labels. In the end it is only a $4 splurge, and it IS your whole meal) 1/2 cup red wine 2 T balsamic vinegar 2 T tomato paste Italian herbs
Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium. Add garlic and onions and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sausage and cook until browned. Add tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Add wine and vinegar, continue to simmer for another 30 minutes (or longer!). Add tomato paste if you want to thicken the sauce, or skip it. Add herbs, simmer on low another 10-15 minutes. Serve over cooked pasta.
Note: my bare minimum version is: skip the garlic & onions, and just sautee sausage in olive oil, add tomatoes, wine (skip vinegar, paste, herbs). I simmer for 30-45 minutes and serve. BTW if I were inclined to add just 2 more ingredients it would likely be the onions and herbs. Good luck!
Note: this is lovely warmed up for lunch the next day. Just because of that: when I want it to stretch a bit further, I am generous with all the ingredients and add another 1/2 can of tomatoes.