Sweet Sausage Spaghetti Sauce
Jarred sauces are a convenience, but if you’re looking for great, fresh flavors, try making your own. I use Pomi brand strained tomatoes. Homemade or canned pureed tomatoes are a good substitute. Serve this sauce over spaghetti or polenta or a baked potato, or with grilled vegetables.
Make ahead: The onions, carrots and celery can be diced up to 24 hours in advance. The completed sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound fresh sweet Italian sausage links, casings discarded
2 medium onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 cup)
2 medium ribs celery (leaves removed), cut into 1/4-inch dice
2/3 cup dry red wine
3 cups strained tomatoes (see note above)
2 teaspoons mixed dried Italian herbs (oregano, basil, marjoram and/or crushed rosemary)
2 teaspoons sugar
Freshly ground pepper
Line a large plate with several layers of paper towels. Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add half of the sausage, breaking it into small pieces. Cook, stirring every minute or so, 3 to 4 minutes, until the sausage loses its raw look and starts to brown. Transfer it to the paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining sausage.
Pour off and discard all but a film of fat from the saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions, carrots, celery and a pinch of salt. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring every minute or so and adjusting the heat so the vegetables soften but do not brown.
Return all of the sausage to the saucepan. Stir in the wine. Cook 2 minutes; add the strained tomatoes. Rinse any puree clinging to the inside of the box or can with about 1 cup water, and add to the saucepan. Add dried herbs and sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste, stirring to combine. Once the mixture starts to bubble, reduce the heat to medium-low so it is barely bubbling at the edges. Partially cover with a lid and cook 25 minutes, stirring a few times and adding a little water if it becomes too thick. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Makes 14 (1/2-cup) servings.
Per serving: 90 calories, 6 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 220 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 4 g sugar.