Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sausage Pepper Pasta Sauce

My massage therapist pretty much summed it up today:

"Girl, you are hot mess."

Indeed I am, Guy Who Makes Me Writh in Pain, I haven't been home for more than a New York Minute all week. My 350 square feet is filthy (by my standards) and the Sous Chef hasn't had a meaty treat all week. Not to mention it most definitely must be trash night tonight as I cannot put it off another day. I need to mentally unwind. I need to find sanity in creation. I need to financially make use of the food in my fridge.

Enter, the inspiration:

These are grilled peppers and onions left over from a BBQ last night. Part of me was tempted to just eat these delicious leftovers straight up with a piece of whole grain bread. Then my mind screamed, YOU ARE 28 YEARS OLD! Pour yourself a glass of wine and make yourself a proper meal woman!

Looking through the kitchen, I decided to whip up a pasta sauce.

1 sausage (left over from a BBQ, I froze it months ago)
Array of grilled red & green peppers and onions (fresh and frozen would also work)
1 tsp chopped garlic
Can of crushed tomatoes
Dash of Olive Oil
Pasta (of your choosing)

These frozen sausages work perfect. I defrost, then slit the casing and empty the meat into a pan to ground and fry up. Cook until no longer pink, then indulge the Sous Chef. She's staring at you, burning guilt into your soul.
In another pan, heat up a dash of olive oil, garlic and start lightly sauteing up those peppers. If yours are fresh or frozen, cook a bit longer. Mine already had a delicous grilled char, so I mostly wanted to heat and release some of the flavor.

Once the sausage is cooked and the peppers are ready, add in a can of crushed tomatoes. I used this basil one because that's what happened to be in the cabinet.

Give a good mix. Add in basil and oregano. I did about a tsp of each. Heat until evenly hot and begins to bubble. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover.

What is this you ask? It's called a used cookie sheet, I mean, innovation. I clearly need to invest in a proper sized cover for my frying pan.
Lemons into Lemonade kids. You make do with what you got.

Look at that baby! Go! Simmer! Combine your various and delicious flavors! Meanwhile, boil your water and chef up some pasta of your choosing. Don't forget to salt the water. Continue to simmer and stir your sauce frequently so that it doesn't burn on the bottom. Also prevents it from thickening up too much.
When the pasta is ready - taste test your sauce. It shouldn't be tomato-y tasting. It should taste like Italy. Its surprisingly deliciousness should make you daydream for a moment. Oh yes, maybe you really do have what it takes in this kitchen stuff. Oh yeah. I'm opening up a legit Italian restaurant in the North End baby!!!
Steady. Audience of one doesn't not translate to mass production. Start small - maybe impress a date first.

Look at that. Oh wait. It's missing something..........

Italian cheese! But of course! Standard grated parmesean feels too generic for this easy homemade sauce.

I've been on a whole grain bread kick lately. And the merlot? well, that's just standard fare.
Making a sauce can be intimidating, but it certainly doesn't have to be overwhelming. There's plenty of room for creativity and it chefs up surprisingly fast. I actually think the leftovers will taste better tomorrow once they have had a chance to cuddle up in the fridge overnight.
Sous Chef Gracie gives it 5.5 stars (Mostly for its inclusion of sausage.)

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