It’s summer time in the South. And, let me tell you, a southern summer is hot. Hot and humid. The kind of hot that you almost can’t get away from and the kind of humidity that clings to your skin and wilts your hair as soon as you set foot outside the air conditioned comfort of your home.
What I’m trying to say is that it’s been a brutal few days with temperatures in the 90’s and humidity to match. This kind of weather makes me not want to use the oven too very much, so I look for things that can be prepared quickly on the stovetop. And this recipe fits that description.
I came up with this a few months ago when I didn’t have any ground beef on hand to make my usual spaghetti sauce. I substituted a mild Italian sausage and the results were pretty darned good! I made it again recently and the reviews from young and old alike were positive. I’m sure your family might like it, too.
8 oz. pasta (any type of your choice)
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. mild Italian sausage, casings removed
1 tblsp. olive oil
2 cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. You can use any shape of pasta you have on hand. This would work with tubes, ribbons, or string pastas. While the pasta cooks, prepare the sauce.
Dice the onion, mince the garlic and set them aside.
Remove the sausage from its casings. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add the sausage, stirring to break it up as it cooks. Drain the sausage if necessary, then add the onions and garlic. Stir well, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the onion has softened and the sausage is completely cooked through.
Add the tomatoes with their juice, oregano, red pepper flakes and salt to taste. Cover and cook an additional 10-15 minutes or until the tomatoes are nicely softened and beginning to break down.
Add the parmesan cheese and stir well to combine. The old green box parmesan works fine here, no need to use your expensive Parm in the sauce! Save that for the plate.
Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the sauce. Stir everything together until the pasta is well combined. Serve with additional red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese, if desired.