Fettucini w/Spicy Meat Sauce

Serves 4   Everyone has a favorite recipe for pasta sauce. I have several. This one is a hearty, spicy sauce using Italian sausage, onions and mushrooms.  You can make it with either hot or mild sausage. Also, it’s an outstanding leftover since it is even better the next day.

 

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage  or mild sausage if you prefer

1/2 onion, chopped

2 Tbsp Italian seasoning blend

10 crimini/brown/Italian *mushrooms, quartered

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 lg can (1 lb 12 oz) ground tomatoes (I like 6-in-1 brand w/heavy puree available in most Italian delicatessens, but any will do)

1/4 c red wine

1 Tbsp tomato powder or tomato puree

1 tsp red pepper flakes or chipotle flakes

3 Tbsp grated **parmigiano reggiano cheese or grated grana padano

Salt and pepper to taste

9 oz. fresh pasta of your choice (I like linguine for this dish – or use regular dried pasta)

Grated parmigiano reggiano/parmesan cheese for the table

 

Directions:

Heat oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the Italian sausage and break it up with a spoon while browning it. Lower the heat, add the onion and cook until translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, then add the mushrooms and Italian seasoning and cook an additional 3-5 minutes. Stir in the ground tomatoes, pepper flakes, tomato puree, wine and cheese and mix together well. Gently simmer the sauce for around 45 minutes. Stir often so the sauce doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Correct the seasoning (add more pepper flakes if it needs more kick.)

 

Cook the pasta as package directs in boiling water that has been generously salted. Drain pasta in a colander. Wipe out the pan, then return the pasta to the pan and add 3-4 ladles full of sauce. Mix to coat the pasta. Turn pasta into a serving dish and pass additional sauce separately so people can add the amount they prefer.

 

NOTE: *The brown mushrooms are often labeled “baby portabellas”. They have a lot more flavor than the white ones and are now available in most markets. **Parmigiano reggiano is an excellent parmesan cheese with loads of flavor. Grana Padano is also excellent and is more available now. They make a difference. And use a nice red wine – one you would serve your guests.