GINNA PARSONS: Sausage ramps up spaghetti recipe

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to eat spaghetti and meatballs again. And that’s saying a lot, considering sketti and meatballs is one of my all-time favorite meals.
These days, I’ll take mine with sausage, thank you very much.
My husband, Charlie, came across a recipe for a dish that combined homemade pasta sauce with Italian turkey sausage. The recipe actually called for hot Italian turkey sausage links, but we couldn’t find hot at the store so we bought sweet.
How sweet it was!
The sausages gave a whole new dimension to the idea of a pot of red sauce and cooked spaghetti noodles. I don’t know why we didn’t try this earlier.
I will say this about the pasta sauce recipe. We didn’t use the one included with the sausage recipe because Charlie found one years ago that’s so much better. That’s the one that’s included here.
And the only canned tomatoes we use anymore are San Marzanos. The best are grown in compliance with Italian law and classified as Pomodoro S. Marzano dell’Agro Sarnese-Nocerino. These have a D.O.P emblem on the label – Denominazione di Origine Protetta. Literally translated as Protected Designation of Origin, this label applies to various cheeses, meats, breads and pastas from throughout the various regions of Italy.
I’ve found the ones with the D.O.P. designation once at Kroger, but usually we have to travel to larger grocery stores in bigger towns to find them. If you happen upon some, stock up. You won’t be sorry.

Spaghetti with Sausage
1 package sweet Italian turkey sausage links
3⁄4 cup chopped onion
5 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄4 cup olive oil
2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 bay leaf
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
3⁄4 teaspoon dried basil
1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Dried Italian seasoning to taste
10 ounces dried spaghetti, cooked and drained
Arrange sausage on a baking sheet. Broil sausage 5 minutes on each side or until done. Remove pan from oven (do not turn broiler off). Cut sausage into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices in a single layer on baking sheet. Broil sausage slices 2 minutes or until browned. Set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent. Stir in tomatoes, salt, sugar and bay leaf. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 90 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, basil, pepper dried Italian seasoning. Add cooked sausage and simmer 30 minutes more. Add cooked pasta to pan and toss to coat.
Serves 6 to 8.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.