Tag Archives: Italian sausage

Pasta with Sweet Italian Sausage in Sauce

Let me say from the start that even though this recipe is about pasta and sweet Italian sausage this is not necessarily an Italian recipe. It is more of a combination of Italian and Mexican flavors.

Whenever my youngest son asks what’s for dinner and I say pasta he breaks into his happy dance with sound effects. I have said this more than once in my blog… my family loves pasta. Maybe the next time I make pasta I’ll see if I can film the dance and share it on my blog.

Today, I decided I didn’t want to make the usual spaghetti meat sauce using sauce from a jar. Instead, I opted to make my own sauce using canned tomatoes, veggies and sweet Italian sausage. I also wanted to create a few different textures in the sauce so I added white beans which provided both texture and more flavor. Although everything was soft in the sauce, there were different levels of softness if that makes sense. The pasta was al dente. The beans were creamy. The veggies were smooth and the sausage had a nice soft chew. Fortunately, it all worked together and had me doing my own happy dance.

Pasta with Sweet Italian Sausage in Sauce

Ingredients:

2 packages Sweet Italian Sausage links

1 can small white beans drained and rinsed

1 can Mexican stewed tomatoes

1 can fire roasted tomatoes

1 small can tomato paste

1 small green pepper diced

1 small red pepper diced

2 cups water

2 tbsp grape seed oil

2 tbsp fresh hot salsa

½ tbsp ground oregano

½ tbsp dried basil

½ tbsp Adobo

1 tsp Kosher salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

Heat grape seed oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Add sausages in batches and brown on each side. Slice the browned sausages then set aside. Wipe out the dutch oven if the bottom is too brown. Lower the temperature to medium. Add a little more grape seed oil to the pot then add onions ad peppers along with the seasonings. Stir and cook for approximately 2 – 3 minutes. Add both cans of tomatoes, white beans and tomato paste to the pot and stir until well blended with the onions and peppers. Cook for 3 minutes then add the sausages to the pot. Stir and let simmer for 20 – 25 minutes over medium low heat to allow the sauce to thicken.

While sauce is simmering cook pasta according to the package. Spoon sauce over a bowl of pasta and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

 

 

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Spicy Meatballs

Spicy Meatballs are one of the simplest dishes I have ever made.  Most good chefs/ cooks know how to make a meatball.  Whether you are adding them to pasta or making a meatball sandwich, meatballs are pretty easy to make. The trick is to make them flavorful. This meatball recipe was created to go with my Penne Pasta and Eggplant with Spicy Meatballs on the side.

Follow the link for another delicious recipe.

Spicy Meatballs

Ingredients:

1 package fresh Italian sausage

1 package ground pork

1 package fresh hot sausage

1 egg

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

¼ cup panko bread crumbs

¼ cup milk

2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

½ tsp onion powder

Preheat oven to low broil.

Combine Parmesan cheese, egg and milk in a small bowl. Place meats and seasonings in a large bowl along with panko bread crumbs. Add egg mixture to the meat. Mix well to combine but do not over work the meat. Form into golf ball sized balls (or whatever size you like) and place meatballs in a large iron skillet. Place in the oven and brown the meatballs for about 15 minutes.

Remove the meatballs and place in a large pot with marinara sauce. Simmer over medium low heat for 30 to 40 minutes until meatballs are cooked all the way through.

These are good for spaghetti and meatball dishes, meatball sandwiches, appetizers and of course Penne Pasta and Eggplant with Meatballs on the side.

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Sloppy Joe’s

sloppy joe crock_1

Loose meat sandwiches. That is what sloppy joe’s were called long ago. The origin of sloppy joe’s is not clear and doesn’t really matter. What matters is that sloppy joe’s were a wonderful creation and has not changed much over the years.

sloppy joe crock 4_1

The great thing about sloppy joe’s is that although the basic recipe remains the same, you can experiment with additional flavors and make it your own. I added hot Italian sausage to the recipe and a few other ingredients to give the dish a little heat to go along with the sweetness of the sauce. I even made a crock pot version so my friend Mr. E could try it out.

Sloppy Joe 1_1

Crock pots are a very useful kitchen tool for when you don’t have time to prepare food and watch it cook. I have to admit that I get a little weird about using my crock pot only because I don’t like leaving it plugged in all day without being able to check on it. Yes, it may seem to defeat the purpose of throwing everything in a pot and letting it cook without having to guard it. But, I like to add a little bit of this or that during the cooking process and still feel like I don’t have to watch it every second.

Sloppy Joe 7_1

Sloppy Joe’s are a comfort food that brings back childhood memories. Sloppy Joe night meant you could eat with your hands, let sauce run down your fingers and not get in trouble for being messy. What kid wouldn’t love that?

Sloppy Joe 3_1

Now when I eat sloppy joe’s I still let the sauce run down my fingers and I won’t get in trouble for being messy.

Sloppy Joe’s

Ingredients:
1 lb ground pork or sirloin
1 lb ground hot Italian sausage
½ cup red peppers chopped
½ cup green peppers chopped
1 large onion diced
1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp worcestershire
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp mustard
½ cup ketchup
5 dashes of hot sauce
1 crock pot

Turn crock pot on high.

Place all the ingredients into the crock pot and stir. Let cook for 3 – 4 hours until meat is cooked all the way through. Serve over hamburger or soft kaiser rolls.

If you want to cut down on the cooking time,  try making the sloppy joe’s in a pot on the stove.  Brown the meat and drain then place all of the ingredients into a pot.  Let simmer for 1 hour over medium heat.