I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, not much makes me happier than a pot of red sauce simmering on the stove. I like to make a big batch of this sauce over the weekend and freeze it in 2-4 cup increments. Then on a busy weeknight, just defrost in the refrigerator for 8 hours (I usually do this during the day while at work) and reheat on the stove for 15 minutes. You can also defrost this sauce quickly in a large bowl with warm water for 30ish minutes on the counter.
I like to serve this sauce over pasta, zoodles, spaghetti squash, french bread (with a big dollop of ricotta), on a pizza, in a panini … lots of options.
Last night when I got home from work I realized all I had in the refrigerator was 2 zucchini and a wedge of Parmesan cheese … shoot, zucchini for dinner isn’t going to cut it … either is take-out. Freezer sauce to the rescue! Zoodles for me, spaghetti for the hubs and sauce for both. Phew, crisis averted.
I went to bed happy and full … and grateful for a freezer with Italian sausage red sauce in it.
- 1 lb sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings (pork or chicken)
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes tomatoes
- 28 oz tomato sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicy, or leave out if you do not like spice)
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped (alternatively, 2 tsp dried oregano)
- 1 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped (alternatively, 2 tsp dried parsley)
- Handful fresh basil, leaves torn into pieces (no alternative, gotta use the fresh stuff)
- In a large pot, cook Italian sausage over medium-high heat until the fat is rendered and the sausage starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Remove all but 2 tbsp of fat from the pan.
- To the fat remaining in the pan, add the onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add tomato paste and cook 1 minute, then add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, parsley, and reserved Italian sausage.
- Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for as long as you can, but for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat, adjust seasoning to taste and add fresh basil.
- Serve as you please!