I wanted to make a pasta dish Sunday for dinner and since I had just recently made and frozen a large batch of Italian sausage, Sandy suggested I defrost a few and make pasta with sausage. Great idea! I used sweet sausage for this but if you want to go spicier you can use hot sausage or increase the amount of red pepper flakes.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage meat (stuffing from 4 links)
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt to taste
- 1 35oz can imported Italian tomatoes
- 6 fresh basil leaves
- 1 pound mezzi rigatoni
- Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sautè, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add sausage meat, red pepper and salt to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally until sausage is browned approximately 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, crush the tomatoes with your hands then add them with their juices to the pan. Add 1/2 cup of water and bring to a simmer. Turn heat to low and let simmer until thickened, about 45 minutes. At the very end of cooking, tear 2 of the basil leaves into pieces with your hands and stir into the sauce.
- While sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the mezzi rigatoni. Cook uncovered over high heat until al dente.
- Drain the pasta and toss with half of the sauce. Dish pasta out into individual serving plates, top with a little more sauce, garnish with the remaining basil leaves torn by hand and serve.