OK – I admit to cheating sometimes. I think cheating is fine when you have a good reason? Last night was one of those nights; I cheated!
Before you go getting any ideas, it is clear that I am talking about red sauce, right?
Yes, I am guilty of always having a back-up jar of plain old marinara sauce to use in a pinch. Yes, I love making my own, and I do make it 95% of the time, but I hate to be backed into a corner when time is short, and I have a family to feed on the double!
The beauty of this dinner is that it is ready in 20 minutes, start to finish. The thing that saves it from being hum-drum is the addition of fresh herbs, although it would certainly raise no complaints if you didn’t have any on hand.
I make dinners like this when getting food on the table is more important than me lolly-gagging at my leisure in the kitchen.
You will need: 4 mild Italian sausages, out of casing and pulled into bite-sized pieces, 4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 1 sweet or red onion, small dice, 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce, 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 tsp freshly chopped rosemary leaves, 6 fresh basil leaves, salt to taste, freshly cracked pepper, 1 lb spaghetti pasta 9 I used Barilla brand), 1/2 – 1 cup warm pasta cooking water (you will have this when you boil the noodles).
1 – Put big pot of water on for pasta and when it comes to a boil cook noodles according to instructions. Before draining into colander, scoop out 1 cup of pasta water to use later in the finished sauce.
2 – While pasta is cooking, do the following; Put saute pan on medium heat and add oil. When it has warmed, add the diced onions, garlic and sausage pieces. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the chopped rosemary and several grinds of black pepper.
3 – Continue to cook for another 10 minutes, in which time the sausage will start to brown nicely.
4 – Add the tomato sauce (bought or homemade) and cream, and give everything a stir to incorporate. When it is warm, stir in the basil leaves.
5 – When pasta is cooked, add up to 1 cup of pasta water to sauce to thin it out. Divide drained pasta between warmed bowls and top with generous portion of red sauce. you can also toss the pasta directly into the sauce and let everyone help themselves.