Saturday, November 15, 2008

Spaghetti Magic in the Kitchen

This morning, I decided to have a look at my pantry to see what I have on the shelves, as well as poke through my freezer and see what items I have lurking in there. Everything I used in this recipe, I was able to pull from my kitchen. It makes plenty enough to feed an army ... or myself for quite a while. And it's easy, too.


1 medium onion, diced
As many cloves of garlic as you can stand (I used 5. I'd say no less than 2.)
3/4 lb sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 large can stewed Italian style tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
Approx. 1/4-1/3 c water (I used that to rinse the tomato paste can)
1/4 tsp sugar
Salt, pepper to taste
red pepper flakes (optional)
1 lb package of spaghetti

In a large pot, bring water to boil and follow package instructions on preparing the spaghetti noodles.

In another pot, cover the bottom surface with olive oil. Add the sausage and brown, breaking it up into pieces with the back of a wooden spoon or a fork. When browned, remove to another plate, but leave the drippings in the pan. Add the red pepper flakes, if desired, and then add the onions and saute over medium heat until softened. Add the garlic, raise the heat to high, and saute for about a minute or so. Add the sausage back into the pot and heat for a minute or two. Add the stewed tomatoes, liquid and all, and break up with the wooden spoon or fork. Then add, stirring slowly, the tomato paste, and when incorporated, add the water to the can to rinse it out and add the rinse to the pot. Add the sugar and stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and if you wish, add some dried herbs such as oregano, basil, etc.

Drain the spaghetti, and then add to the pan and incorporate. Add a bit of the pasta water if everthing seems a bit too dry. Heat for a couple of minutes more and remove from heat. If you wish to add fresh herbs, now is the time to do it - for example, freshly chopped basil, oregano, parsley, etc. (I happen to have these herbs growing downstairs so it's easy for me to harvest what I need.)

Serve immediately.