This one is from my mom. Pasta was a family favorite growing up, but tomato sauce gets boring after awhile and my dad isn’t fond of cream sauces, so my mom started making this.
It’s really simple and great if you enjoy vegetables because you can put just about anything you like in. The recipe below is the one my mom wrote down for me, the one she uses again and again. My husband and I don’t care for mushrooms, zucchini, and onions, so we leave them out. But we love bell peppers, so we use more of them. Really, the sauce comes from cooking and sweating the vegetables, so don’t skimp on them!
First, prep. Do all the cutting first. Cut everything into bite sized pieces, about 1/2 inch or so pieces. I like to use separate bowls for each set of vegetables as they get added. Carrots get their own bowl, then one for the bell peppers and any other softer vegetables (the zucchini, mushrooms, and onions would go on this bowl), and one for the tomatoes and sausages.
Heat some olive oil in a large pot and then add the carrots. Cook for somewhere around 5 minutes on medium to low heat. Then add the bell peppers, etc. and cook another 15 minutes over low heat.
Maybe some liquid is starting to pool, but probably too much unless there’s really a lot of vegetables in your pot. Now is the time to add the tomatoes and sausage. We like the Roma tomatoes and Hillshire Farm sausage.
Cook for 15-20 minutes with the lid on, still over low heat.
My husband likes sauce. Sometimes I swear he’s trying to drown his pasta. So I cook the pasta first and save about a cup of so of the pasta water. After the vegetables and sausage have cooked for about 20 minutes, I add the pasta water and about a cup of vegetable stock if I have some, otherwise I just use about another cup of water. Everything seems to be swimming just fine.
Cook a few more minutes, then add the garlic and basil. I don’t like pieces of garlic, so I use my zester and get about a teaspoon or two of garlic. Flavor with no pieces!
Sauce is done so add the pasta. My mom almost always used spaghetti, but any pasta works.
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 lb fully cooked sausage
- 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
- 3 bell peppers
- 2 medium zucchini
- 3 carrots
- 1 small onion
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 lb pasta
- Slice the sausage. Cut the bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, onion, and tomatoes into 1/2 inch pieces.
- Heat olive oil in a large pot.
- Cool carrots over low to medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Add zucchini, mushrooms, onion, and peppers. Cook over low heat about 15 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and sausage and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through.
- Stir in garlic and basil.
- Cook pasta according to the package directions.
- Add pasta to sauce.
Thanks, Mom! The best part is, it takes about an hour or less depending on how much you have to chop, or approximately how long my daughter naps for in the mornings.