Main Course Recipes, Pasta Recipes, Sauces

Italian Sausage Red Sauce with Zoodles or Noodles

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.

Italian Sausage Red Sauce2Italian Sausage Red Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. To the fat remaining in the pan, add the onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. 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.
  4. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for as long as you can, but for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, adjust seasoning to taste and add fresh basil.
  6. Serve as you please!
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