Sunday, April 20, 2008

Chunky Pasta Sauce Recipe with Sausage, Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, and Basil

Penne with Chunky Sausage SauceMost of the recipes I post on Kalyn's Kitchen are dishes where I've planned ahead, shopped for ingredients, and carefully cooked the food. This wonderful recipe for chunky pasta sauce is not one of those planned-in-advance recipes. This is something I came up with on Sunday afternoon when I realized gardening season was almost here and I still had quite a few slow roasted tomatoes and some frozen basil in the freezer, and gee I really should be making something with those tomatoes and basil before it was harvest time again.

Probably this recipe was inspired by my favorite Spicy Cherry Tomato Sauce for pasta, but quite honestly, I think if you've got some Dreamfields Pasta and a craving for comfort food, you just can't go wrong with any sauce that includes Italian Sausage, olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, basil, and oregano. With that in mind, I made a big double batch of this sauce. I ate the pasta you see in the photo, and I'll be taking some pasta with sauce to my parents on Tuesday. The rest of the sauce is in my fridge, ready and waiting to be turned into easy dinners. Wouldn't you love to have this sauce waiting in the fridge when you get home from work?

I'll be honest, you can't really duplicate the sauce I made unless you have slow roasted tomatoes in your freezer. If that's just not happening for you, use three cans of drained Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes and it will still be good.

Squeeze out meat from five links (19.5 oz.) turkey Italian sausage, then saute in a bit of olive oil until the sausage is well browned and fairly broken apart.

When sausage is brown, add more olive oil and 2 T finely minced garlic and cook a few minutes. (I used minced garlic from a jar, which is fine for this.)

Add chopped tomatoes and cook five minutes. Then add fresh chopped basil (or frozen basil) and some chopped fresh oregano if you have a little bit coming up in your garden. Dried oregano will also work here, but put it in earlier when you add the garlic.

Cook the sauce a few more minutes, just enough to blend flavors. I hope your pasta is cooked by now, because you'll want to be eating this as soon as you can!

Chunky Pasta Sauce With Italian Sausage, Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, and Basil
(Makes about 8 servings of sauce, recipe created by Kalyn.)

1 pkg. (19.5 oz.) hot turkey Italian sausage (squeeze meat out of casings)
2 tsp. plus 3 T olive oil
2 cups slow roasted tomatoes (or use 3 cans diced tomatoes, drained. I recommend Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes)
2 T minced garlic
1/2 cup (or more) finely chopped fresh basil or frozen basil
2-3 T chopped fresh oregano (or 1 T dried oregano)

Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in heavy frying pan, then squeeze sausage out of casings and saute over medium heat until well browned, breaking sausage apart as it cooks. When sausage is quite brown, add 3 T more olive oil, then clear a space in the center of the pan and add minced garlic and cook 2-3 minutes. (Add dried oregano now also if you're using it.)

While sausage cooks, finely chop roasted tomatoes. (If you're using canned tomatoes, drain them well while the sausage cooks. You could save the juice and freeze it.) Add tomatoes to pan with sausage and cook 5 minutes.

After five minutes add fresh chopped basil and oregano (or frozen basil) and cook 2-3 minutes more, just enough to blend flavors. Serve with hot pasta and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

The sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for about a week. Reheat on low while the pasta cooks. When you drain the pasta, save a small amount of hot pasta water and add to the sauce before mixing it with the pasta.

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South Beach Suggestions:

Everything in this sauce is low on the glycemic index, and olive oil is considered a "good fat" for the South Beach diet. However, this is a fairly high-fat sauce, even with turkey sausage, so it's probably a "once in a while treat" for South Beach. Be sure to use Dreamfields Pasta or whole-wheat pasta for South Beach, and limit portions for phase two.

More with Italian Sausage and Basil:
Sausage and Basil Marinara Sauce, plus links to other pasta sauces
Spicy Cherry Tomato Sauce
No Cook Pasta Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes
Roasted Tomato, Italian Sausage, and Basil Sauce
Lasagna with Sweet Italian Sausage from Eating Out Loud
Italian Style Sausage Ragu from Cooking by the Seat of My Pants
Homemade Italian Sausage from Expat Chow
Zucchini Stuffed with Italian Sausage and Cheese from Closet Cooking
Pappardalle with Mushroom Basil Tomato Sauce and Spicy Sausage from Kirsten's Home Cooking
Baked Penne with Sausage from Genesis of a Cook

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  1. Kalyn, the frozen basil came in handy a few times this past winter...thanks for the tip.

    Pastas are best & fun when they are free-flowing...taste & create and you'll come up with gems like this.

  2. That looks delicious Kalyn. Perfect comfort food. In fact I have most of the ingredients lurking in my freezer...

  3. Great idea -- I have the last few containers of slow-roasted tomatoes in my freezer, too. I try to make them last until tomato season arrives in late July, when I can make more!

  4. Three cheers for sausage (shosshage, in our household) pasta. With pasta, tomatoes and some herbs, it's my favourite way of using Italian sausages, and your dish looks positively mouthwatering!

  5. So funny. I come here this morning and what do I read?

    I laid out some frozen roasted tomatoes in my fridge just last night to make a sauce for todays meal.

    Roasted tomatoes make sauces taste so much better in my opinion. Yours looks delish!

    I am soooo excited that a new season is around the corner!

  6. I have roasted tomatoes left in my freezer that I'd better start using up! This looks delicious!

    We've already planted part of our garden ...

  7. Oh Kalyn, just from looking at the pitcure I know I wanna try this sometime soon.
    *Goes back to read in more detail and start her shopping list*

  8. I've got too much stuff still in the freezer -- with all the traveling I did this winter, I didn't use nearly enough of it! Plus, I have some leftover red wine that I think would amp this up even further, so I'm definitely going to get to making this recipe, probably this week. Thanks for posting it!

  9. Looks amazing! You have inspired me to create my own version with what I have in the fridge. Thanks!

  10. This is my kind of rustic sauce. Bring it!

  11. Several variations of this dish are staples at our house, Kalyn. We use high-fibre pasta!

    I cannot wait to plant tomatoes!

  12. Now that is one tasty sounding pasta! Roasted tomatoes are so good.

  13. Mmmm, looks so nice and hearty. Perfect tummy-warming food.

  14. Thanks for all the good vibes about this dish. I feel a little relieved to hear that I'm not the only one who stockpiles a bunch of stuff in the freezer and kind of forgets about it! And yes, there are endless versions of this dish.

    Planting tomatoes! To say I can't wait would be the understatement of the year! I planted some more herbs tonight.

  15. Yes indeed I do wish I had that dish waiting for me. Since I am not a South Beach-er I do tend to indulge in the comfort pasta more then I ought. Your pasta looks just fabulous.

  16. Excuse me for my long silence.
    My best regards in the future.

  17. This sounds awesome, Kalyn! If you didn't have any slow-roasted tomatoes, I'll bet sun-dried tomatoes would work, in a pinch. I make my own in my dehydrator.

  18. Yes, I do think sun-dried tomatoes would work, just a bit chewier than the roasted ones. Great idea!

  19. Hi Kalyn,
    This looks delicious. We can't get turkey sausage here in the UK, but it occurred to me that I could make this using turkey mince (ground turkey) and herbs/spices. Do you have any suggestion as to which herbs and spices to use to replicate the taste of your Italian sausage please?

  20. Jen, great idea to use ground turkey and make your own sausage. I bet you could google "Italian Sausage" and get a real recipe, but to me the most essential thing is fennel, followed by hot chile flakes. I'm guessing it might have a bit of dried oregano and garlic too.

  21. This looks great Kalyn. I love slow roasted tomatoes! I have a mental block for pasta right now, especially since Brown Rice Pasta is higher on the glycemic index than whole wheat- am I right about that? I will have to wait until I am at my target weight for this!

  22. Natalie, I'm not sure about the GI of brown rice pasta, but brown rice is 55 and the pasta would be higher than that, so it makes sense.

  23. Just like you I realized that I had some stuff in the freezer to start using up. Used some of my basil today.

  24. When I think of favorite dishes - I think of ones like this. So satisfying! I would like to die in right now!

  25. I would love to tuck into some of that right now! Fabulous, hearty, comfort food... mmm....

  26. Great dish Kalyn. One thing I miss in my kitchen...a freezer larger than a postage stamp.

    Although, there's always room for sausages, shrimp and baggies of soup and sauce.

    One of these days I do hope you share a pasta dish with Presto Pasta Nights.

  27. this looks SO good Kalyn!! Good and meaty!! my favorite!!


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