This is one of those go-to recipes that I make a lot. It takes a minimum of effort, is ready in a hurry and tastes wonderful. I cannot tell you how often I make this on a weeknight after a long day at work. DH is always happy to have Italian food on his plate, as often as possible. I sometime buy Italian sausage in bulk when it goes on sale and divide it into one pound bags for the freezer, but I also get it when it goes on sale in the one pound packages. Sometimes I’ll use it in my Italian Meat Loaf recipe, but more often, it is used in this one. Seriously easy, you cook the meat, add the pasta, throw on some sauce, plate it up with a sprinkle of cheese and you have dinner in about 20 minutes.
So, as I always do, I gathered some ingredients. Know that you can mess with this a bit, use more garlic or onion, more or less basil or other spices, it lends itself well to tweaking. Also, change the pasta to your favorite shape. I like bow ties, but whatever you have in the cabinet will work. The best news is that most of the ingredients are just on the shelf so you can always have what you need on hand. You can defrost the sausage in the microwave which would add about 10 minutes to the total time, but that still means dinner in half an hour! Plus, you can throw in anything more that you want, sometimes I add the last of the bag of fresh spinach for a one dish meal.
Sometimes I’ll pick some fresh basil from the garden, if it is summer. The more fresh ingredients the better it is.
Easy to use, just put the leaves together and roll them up.
Cut across into julienne strips. I throw the tough stems away.
I’ll chop garlic and onion for the dish, and I like using some fresh tomatoes as well as it adds a fresh tomato taste. Sometimes I use cherry tomatoes, and sometimes I’ll just chop a fresh large beefsteak or heirloom tomato.
Start with sauteing onion and garlic, add the Italian sausage and cook until the pink is gone. At the same time, boil water for pasta with a bit of salt and olive oil, and cook according to the package directions for time.
I love mushrooms, so I add those when the meat is cooked.
I drain and rinse the sausage mixture to get rid of excess grease.
Returning the meat to the pan, add in the fresh basil. A little fresh Parmesan is a good thing.
Add the tomato sauce and additional spices or herbs as you like. Fresh cracked pepper is good here.
Add in the fresh tomatoes at the end, just to heat through but not cook to mush.
Drain the pasta and add it to the meat sauce. Mix well.
Plate it with some colorful veggies, and top with a sprinkle of fresh Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese.
Or serve in your favorite pasta bowls with a salad on the side.
Yum! Dinner in under half an hour.
Quick Italian Dinner
1 cup uncooked pasta
water, dash of salt and olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound Italian sausage
1 teaspoon dried basil, or six fresh basil leaves julienned
1 cup quartered mushrooms
1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese or Mozzarella cheese, or both
In a large pot, boil water for pasta with a dash of salt and olive oil. Add pasta and cook until al dente according to the package directions. While the pasta is cooking, saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Add Italian sausage and cook until no pink remains, chopping up the meat as it cooks. Add mushrooms, cook for one to two mintues. Drain mixture in a colander and return to pan. Add tomato sauce. Add fresh tomatoes and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste. When pasta is done, drain pasta and add to the meat mixture. Stir until well mixed, serve with a sprinkle of your choice of cheese. Serves two nicely. Enjoy!!
What is your favorite quick meal? Do you think you will try this one?