#FoodFocus – Penne with Sausage and Mushroom Ragu

Growing up, we always had pasta on Sundays and Wednesdays. Always. Even though mom didn’t work outside of the home, she reserved the more complex pasta meals for Sundays. That was when she would make ravioli, lasagna or gnocchi. But, the pasta sauce for the week was made on that day too. It would simmer for at least 2 hours. Several different meats were part of the recipe. She would simmer pork short ribs, meat rolls, meat balls and sausages in it. The more flavourful the meat, the more flavour the sauce would have. It was so traditional that a Sunday without a pasta dish was just not right!

Today, we seldom have a few hours for simmering anything. But that’s when the most flavour is extracted. This featured sauce needs to simmer for only 30 minutes and despite the short simmering time, the Italian sausage makes it super tasty! I believe that once in a while, comfort food is necessary and, by making it at home, you have control over the seasoning, especially salt. This dish is delicious and very satisfying!

Here’s what you need:  (for 5 servings)

5 mild or hot Italian sausage links
5 large mushrooms, sliced
1/2 green pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 can crushed tomato
water
basil
pepper to taste

Penne rigate (or noodles of your choice)

* Salt is not required as the sausage contains enough to flavour the entire dish!

Before you start, remove the sausage from its casing. Break it up into small bits.

In a large saucepan (I used my wok) pour about 2 tbsp olive oil and brown the sausage meat. Add the onion, garlic, mushrooms and green pepper to the pot. Stir it all up and cook for a few minutes.

sausage-mushroom

 

Pour in the crushed tomato, basil and season with some black pepper. Stir and add a bit of water, if it’s too thick. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

sausage-ragu

In another pot, cook your noodles in salted boiling water. Drain, but reserve some pasta water in case you need it. Transfer the noodles to the pot of sauce and stir to coat them well. This is when you can add a bit of the reserved pasta water if you find it too thick. Adjust the seasoning. Take the pot off the heat, drizzle a little olive oil and grate some Parmesan cheese into it. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!

 

Penne with Sausage and Mushroom Ragu

 

I always cook for at least 4 people but if you need to decrease it, adjust the amounts accordingly. Or you can freeze individual portions too!
As always, I would love to know how you made out with this recipe!

 

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