Guest Author - Vannie Ryanes
Spicy sausage with tomato sauce over pasta along with a broccoli salad makes a tasty and pretty dish for lunch or dinner. Instead of the usual Parmesan cheese, the pasta is topped with creamy ricotta cheese. It is so filling you will not need bread.
16 ounces hot Italian sausage
1 cups tomato sauce
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1-16 oz package of pasta, use spaghetti or penne pasta
1 cup ricotta cheese
Slice sausages length-wise and remove sausage meat from their casings. Break sausage into fairly small pieces.
Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat and saute sausage until it is done. This will take 8 to 10 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce and basil. Stir and simmer over low heat for 7 minutes. Turn heat off and cover. The skillet will hold heat until pasta is done.
Cook pasta until al dente (just tender). This will take 8 to 12 minutes according to your taste. Use large slotted pasta spoon to remove from water and into the sausage-tomato sauce. Keep a cup full of the pasta water in case you need to add more water. Toss in skillet and serve. Garnish pasta with ricotta cheese.
Makes about 4 servings.
Serve with broccoli salad. See recipe below.
*If you have children or someone who does not care for hot and spicy foods, you may want to use 8 ounces sweet Italian sausage and 8 ounces hot Italian sausage for less heat. Also have Parmesan cheese on hand.
1 head broccoli florets
1 cup kidney beans, rinsed and drained
12 cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 small onion, thinly cut
1 cup fresh button mushrooms, sliced thin
Italian salad dressing
Cut broccoli florets in halves and blanch in boiling water for 5 minutes. Immediately put into cold water to stop cooking and keep bright green color.
Mix all ingredients. Add Italian dressing, toss and serve.
Makes 4 salads.