Thursday, January 31, 2013

Made Fast-and-Fresh Sausage Ragu

Cringe as I looked at the date of my last post…October.  When does pregnancy stop being an excuse because I  really have been cooking, just not posting??  A subscription to Southern Living for Christmas is a good excuse to change that AND this delicious smelling dinner on my stove.  Let me go serve it up and then I can tell you how I made it, what I changed and how it tasted.  Be right back!

"Real good, Clark, real good."  Why not quote Cousin Eddy from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation when describing how good tonight's dinner tasted?!  This is definitely an easy meal that you could make on the weekend, freeze and then thaw and serve over pasta.  Or really any weeknight it will not take long.  Pretty basic ingredients too unless you have to make a trip to the wine store like we did.  

1, 16 oz. package rigatoni pasta
1, 1 lb. package ground pork sausage
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
1, 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1, 28 oz. can diced tomatoes with basic, garlic, and oregano
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Disclaimer: I had Kuby's spicy venison sausage on hand and 28 oz. of Stewed Tomatoes instead of the diced with spices combined….so I improvised and it was perfect!  Feel free to change it up.

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain, reserving 1/2 cup hot pasta water.  I did NOT reserve the pasta water b/c I like pasta sauce a little thicker.  

Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring ofter, 5 minutes or until sausage crumbles and is no longer pink.  Add onion, zucchini, and carrots; cook stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes or until tender.  And garlic and red pepper, and cook, stirring often, 1 to 2 minutes or until garlic is tender.  Another change…I did not add the red pepper flakes as the venison sausage was already spicy. Add tomato paste, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes.  

 Add wine and reserved past water if you choose; cook 2 minutes, stirring to loosen bits from bottom of skillet.  

Add tomatoes, and bring to a boil.  Again I did not have the exact spiced tomatoes on-hand so I mixed 28oz. of stewed tomatoes with 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, 1/4 tsp. dried oregano and 1/4 tsp. dried basil.   Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon sausage mixture over pasta; sprinkle with cheese.

What I would do different:
Invite friends over to share in the goodness that was Fast-and-Fresh Sausage Ragu!!