In conversations with cooks from the previous generation (or beyond), they all had their own spaghetti sauce secrets that range from “doctoring” a jar of commercial sauce to all-day marathon simmering pots of sauce made in large quantities to freeze.
Well, it’s the twenty-first century now, and this is the recipe I created for myself. It’s easy and quick…and delicious! Mangia! Mangia!!
Italian Sausage Ragú–aka Spaghetti Sauce
Published: February 5, 2012
- Yield: 4 Servings
In conversations with cooks from the previous generation (or beyond), they all had their own spaghetti sauce secrets that range from …
- 1 tablespoon pure olive oil
- ½ pound Italian sausage, spicy
- 1 pound Italian sausage, mild
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped coarsely
- 7 cloves garlic pressed then chopped
- 1 28-ounce can diced petite tomatoes drained
- 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 4 tablespoons fresh basil leaves rinsed, rolled, sliced and chopped
- 1 pound dried pasta cooked according to package directions
- 8 tablespoons Parmesan cheese finely grated
- Heat 1 tablespoon of pure olive oil in a large 4qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add sausage to the pan and cook while breaking it up into smaller pieces using a wooden spoon.
- Once meat is slightly browned, add chopped yellow onion and cook until translucent.
- Press and chop 5 cloves of garlic and add to meat mixture; cook until translucent.
Newbie Note: If garlic is overcooked or burned it can leave behind a bitter taste, so cook with caution.
- Add drained diced tomatoes and stir.
Newbie Note: Getting rid of the juice makes less time to thicken.
- Add tomato sauce, brown sugar, salt and pepper to meat mixture and simmer without the lid, slowly bubbling, on medium-low heat until sauce thickens– approximately 30 to 45 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking or burning.
Newbie Note: To reduce potential splattering, a lid can be used to cover the pan, but place it slightly off the side to allow the steam to escape and sauce to reduce. If a lid is used, the cooking time may increase.
- When sauce has reduced and thickened, stir in remaining 2 cloves of pressed and chopped garlic and chopped basil leaves.
Newbie Note: Dried basil can be substituted for fresh, however it will need to be added with the strained tomatoes. Fresh basil is added at the very end to maximize the flavor. If it is added too soon, then the aromatics of the basil will be lessened.
- Serve over the pasta of your choice that has been cooked according to the package directions and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- Skill Level: Easy