Weeknight Pasta

I considered writing up Sunday dinner; it was really good, but I think it’s important that everyone know how to prepare a spaghetti sauce from scratch as I did this evening. I was recently discussing this with a friend who is switching to a lower salt diet, I suggested to her how to make a basic tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes. 

I don’t use a recipe for sauce, I just tend to start cooking. The basics are of course garlic and tomatoes – where you go from there is up to you. 

For tonight’s dinner I also picked up some fresh sweet Italian sausage that I started on the stovetop, with a simmer in red wine and water, once the water was mostly reduced I put the whole pan in the oven to brown up the sausages.      

  While they were simmering I started my sauce. I decided on a kicked up vodka sauce based on the ingredients I had on hand. In addition to the garlic, I included dried porcini mushrooms, proscuitto, and a shallot.   


I always start my olive oil first, and make sure it’s hot (shimmering, but not smoking) before I add any ingredients. I typically start with garlic but bacon, or in this case proscuitto, comes first.  

   And then the garlic with a healthy dose of pepper flakes (I ended up adding more) followed by the shallots and mushrooms.         


Once those had a yummy scent I added crushed tomatoes.     

And vodka (4 oz. per 28 oz. can of tomatoes).  And after a quick stir I let it simmer. Ultimately, I stirred in cream (2 oz. per 28 oz. can of tomatoes) and Parmesan into the sauce, made penne pasta, sliced up the sausages, and stirred it all together with the sauce (adding just as much as needed/desired).  


Dinner is served, I have lunches for the week, and extra sauce for another use. With a Caesar salad and a glass of wine – perfect. 


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