Rustic Red Sauce with Sweet Italian Sausages #SundaySupper

I have posted before how I was inspired by a group on Twitter whose mission is to get families back to the dinner table. I love this concept. This week, for #SundaySupper the theme is Celebrity Chef Inspirations. How does one choose? That is such a hard thing for me. Who doesn’t love Paula Dean or Bobby Flay? I personally love the Pioneer Woman, ReeDrummond. Her Blog was one of the first I started reading. My grandparents owned a ranch in East Texas and I could relate to her and her style of food. But, I had to go with my new food obsession. A show on the Cooking Channel called ExtraVirgin also known on the web as Under the Tuscan Sun

The show follows a couple, Debi Mazar and her husband Gabriele Corcos. She is from New York; he was born and raised in Italy. I love their approach to fresh food, Italian style served with a healthy dose of family time. They have chickens…Guess who else raises chickens? Yup, this Country Girl raises her own chickens. So, with them in mind, I set out to make my family a Rustic Italian Red Sauce. I am serving this over rigatoni with Sweet Italian Sausages.

What you will need:

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 7 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • A 28-ounce can of crushed and peeled tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoons Kosher salt (salt to taste)
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • A package of 6 Sweet Italian Sausages
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • 1lb of Rigatoni Pasta

(Just a pinch of the baking soda, though, trust me, this helps tame the acidity of the sauce. It’s my a family secret trick. Shhhh don’t tell.)

Into my cast iron skillet, I drizzled the olive oil. Then, Add in your sausages. Let them brown and get a nice crust on both sides. Once they have reached the desired color, take them out of the pan and set aside. Into the pan, add in your finely diced onion. Let that sauté in the olive oil and tasty goodness of the sausages. As they become translucent, add in your garlic and allow them to continue to sauté for a few minutes. Then, add in the can of crushed tomatoes. Stir this around to loosen the bits on the bottom of the skillet and to incorporate the flavors of the onion and garlic. Into the fabulous looking red sauce, add in your bay leaves and a handful of the basil. Make sure to tear the basil leaves and not chop them. Chopping them bruises the leaves and this effects the flavor. This is a rustic sauce so uniformity is not required. Add your pinch of baking soda and stir to incorporate it. Salt and Pepper to taste and then add the sausages back into the pan. Let this simmer on a medium low for about 25 minutes.

While everything is simmering and making your kitchen smell heavenly, start a salted pot of water to boil. Into the salted water goes the pasta. Cook as your packages suggest. I am looking for Al Denti when I cook pasta and in this case it took about 13 minutes. Before draining the pasta, I add a teaspoon of the pasta water to the sauce. It is my way of adding that last little bit of salt and to loosen the sauce if it gets too thick.

Drain your pasta and then it is time to dress it. For my kids, I slice up the sausage to make eating easier on them. Husband and I, we get the pasta with a sausage on top. This sauce is so so good. I love the way it tastes fresh even in the beginning of December. It’s the herbs that do it. The Basil and the Bay Leaves really make this dish. Of course, you can’t go wrong with onions, garlic and olive oil in my opinion either.

From my house to yours, I hope this dish inspires you to make a family favorite to sit down at the table and enjoy together. This sauce can be made without the sausages and become entirely vegetarian too. It is good served over just about anything. My personal favorite is to serve it with a glass of Chianti but that’s just me.

Enjoy 🙂

Check out the other Celebrity Chef inspired dishes on #SundaySupper and at these sites:

Starters or Snacks :

The Main Dish:

Amazing Sides:

Sweet Endings:

Wine Pairings:

Please join on us via Twitter for #SundaySupper on December 2, 2012, throughout the day. In the evening, we will meet at 7 PM EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat. All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.

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About Shannon

My name is Shannon and I am married and the mother of 2 boys. This is my journey and musings as a self proclaimed County Girl, living in town, or rather in the village. I try to live simple, with my motto as Back to Basics. Enjoy life and the little important things that make it worthwhile. Welcome to my world : )

27 thoughts on “Rustic Red Sauce with Sweet Italian Sausages #SundaySupper

  1. I have Extra Virgin set on my DVR, it’s one of my absolute favorites. I love their chemistry…and their food! This sounds delicious, and I am always up for adding sweet Italian Sausage to a red sauce dish – fantastic! Great job on your first Sunday Supper post 🙂

  2. Thank you Thank you! So excited that I stayed up just to be sure my scheduled post posted lol. Crushed Red Pepper flakes could be added to this sauce too if anyone is looking for more of a kick.

  3. You are the second one I have run across that talks about the show Extra Virgin. I have not seen it yet and I need to check it out especially if there are great recipes like this one to discover.

  4. Thank you everyone: ) I highly recommend checking out Extra Virgin on the Cooking Channel. They are a great couple and I really love their simple healthy recipes. Yum!

    • It’s an old family trick. Just a pinch will do it. Too much makes the sauce have no acidity and I’ve been warned that tastes terrible. This really works and I’ve never had to add sugar to a sauce. I should say too this is only for fresh sauce, won’t hold up if you are canning.

  5. You will have to keep me posted on what you think. Just a pinch. It almost carbonates the sauce and cuts acidity. As it cooks down the sauce is not carbonated lol no bubbles or anything.

  6. I have Extra Virgin set up on my DVR. I love them and he isn’t hard on the eyes either LOL I love this recipe, thank so much for sharing it!!

  7. #SundaySupper is such a great concept and movement! I just love it. Thank you all for the comments. I would love to know what everyone thinks of the sauce if they make it and try out the Baking Soda trick. I love Extra Virgin…Their style is really cool too.

  8. I only get Cooking Channel when it is a free channel for the month, so when I do, I try to record as many shows as possible! Extra Virgin wasnt on my list, but now I know to watch a few episodes next time I can. Welcome to #SundaySupper!

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