Tag Archives: pasta

Sausage Ragù

Perhaps this blog post should be titled “The Best Sauce Ever”…  However, that’s a fairly subjective claim to make.  If you ask my husband, though, he’ll tell you this is not only the best sauce ever, but that it is the best thing I have ever made.

So, while this rich meat sauce is certainly not the most photogenic food in the world (especially since I was taking photos well after the sun had gone down), I just had to share the recipe with you! I’ve been meaning to share this one for a while, actually. I first discovered this sauce last January.  My hubby bought me Anne Burrell’s book Cook Like a Rockstar for Christmas, and her sausage ragù was one of the first things I made.  We were having my family over for a birthday dinner, and I planned to make lasagna. I wanted a rich, meaty sauce to take the lasagna up a notch, and the recipe was just what I was looking for.

I’ve made the sauce a few times since then (not as many as I’d like, though, since I couldn’t eat tomatoes during most of my pregnancy), and it continues to be a favorite at my house. I’ve changed the recipe a bit to make a slightly bigger batch since the sauce is always such a big hit.  It takes quite a while (4+ hours!), so it’s one of those recipes where it pays to make a big batch.

I’m pretty sure you won’t need much help figuring out how to use the sauce.  It’s perfect on its own, so all you really need to do is add some cooked pasta.  Of course, I frequently use it in lasagna.  The sauce is so rich that you don’t really need much else… Just layer the noodles with ricotta cheese, a blend of mozzarella and provolone, and sauce. I’ve also made pizza with leftover sauce, too. It was some of the best pizza I’ve ever had.  Since the recipe makes a big batch, you’ll likely have plenty of leftovers.  I highly recommend freezing individual portions of the sauce (I usually freeze it in 2 cup containers) so that you have it on hand.  I’m not big on leftovers, but this is one of the few things that I get excited to pull out of the freezer and heat up for dinner!

Sausage Ragù
Makes about 10 – 12 cups
(Adapted from Cook Like a Rockstar)

  • 4 ribs celery, cut into large chunks
  • 2 large onions, cut in a large dice
  • 1 large bulb fennel, cored and cut into a large dice
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 18 ounce can of tomato paste
  • 1 bottle (750 mL) bottle of red wine
    (Pick one that you like to drink… I used a merlot)
  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Water
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Begin by pulsing the vegetables (celery, onion, fennel, and garlic) in the food processor until finely chopped. Depending on the size of your food processor, you may need to work in batches.

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large dutch oven or heavy pot. Add the vegetable mixture, and cook until the vegetables are tender and start to brown. Stir every few minutes to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pot and let new brown bits develop again. Continue to cook until the mixture is well browned, up to 30 minutes.

Add the tomato paste to the pot and stir to mix into the vegetables.  Cook for just a minute or two.  Then, add the bottle of wine and scrape up any remaining bits from the bottom of the pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the wine has reduced by about half, about 8 – 10 minutes.

Add the sausage to the pot and use a wooden spoon to break it cooks. Continue to cook until the sausage is completely browned, scraping the pot occasionally.  The sausage will take about 10 minutes to cook.

Once the sausage is cooked, add the herbs to the pot and then add enough water to cover the sausage mixture by about 1/2 inch. Season with salt and pepper.  Stir the sauce, scraping the bottom of the pot once again.  Then, bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for a minute, then reduce to a simmer.

Simmer the sauce for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Once the sauce has cooked and thickened up, taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly.

Please Note – The links to Cook Like a Rockstar provided in this post are Amazon affiliate links.  If you purchase this cookbook (or another item) after  clicking on my link, I receive a small percentage of the sale price, which helps to keep My Kitchen Addiction up and running. Thanks!

Easy Pasta with Vegetables

I’ve been meaning to share this quick and easy pasta recipe with you for a few weeks. I debated about whether or not it was too simple to share. And, it is a very simple recipe.  But, it’s recently become a favorite at my house, and after making it for dinner the fourth week in a row, I decided it needed to be shared.

You may find it hard to believe that this has recently become one of my husband’s favorite foods.  Of course, he’s a bigger fan of salads than I am, so maybe it’s not really much of a surprise.  It doesn’t really sound like “man food” since it is loaded with veggies, but he seems to really like it.  He’s been the one requesting that I make it week after week.  And, I’m not complaining… I like it, too.

Of course, I also love how simple this dish is to make.  In the time it takes to cook the veggies, you can cook the pasta to al dente.  Then, all you have to do is toss it all together and throw some freshly grated cheese on top. It’s really that fast and easy!

The other thing I love about this recipe is how versatile it is. You can substitute whatever vegetables you have on hand, or whatever is fresh and in season.  I know I’ll be making this a lot over the summer when we have lots of fresh veggies from our CSA. You can play around with the pasta, too. My husband likes long noodles, so I’ve been using whole wheat thin spaghetti. But, whatever you prefer will be just fine.  Just be sure not to overcook the noodles. The pasta is a large part of the dish, so you want the texture to be just right! Continue Reading

Friday Favorites – Episode 120

For the first week in quite a while, I spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen this week.  It was a nice change, and I enjoyed having some time to be elbow deep in bread flour and butter.  I’m sure by the time next week rolls around, I’ll be busy again… But, for now I’m just enjoying my time in the kitchen!

I also managed to keep up with my RSS reader this week… And, there were a lot of great blog posts to be read, along with some pretty awesome recipes. Here are a few I thought you might enjoy…

  • It may be hard to believe, but lately I’ve been craving healthier dishes and less sweets. It’s true… And, this Spaghetti with Kale and Tomato Sauce from bell’alimento is at the top of my list. I should also mention that the photos are absolutely gorgeous.
  • I’ve also been baking quite a bit of homemade bread… I think maybe it’s the cold weather that just gets me in a baking mood. Next week, I think I need to make time to try this Focaccia Bread from Brown Eyed Baker. It looks pretty phenomenal, if you ask me!
  • I’m a firm believer in baking with pumpkin all year round… Each year I make homemade puree and keep a stock of it in the freezer. And, now I know what to do with some of it. I can’t wait to try this Pumpkin Streussel Coffee Cake from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures!
  • I love Mexican food… I am a big fan of bold flavors.  So, when I saw this recipe for Potatoes and Chorizo from Handle the Heat, I couldn’t believe that I’d never made it before. I’ll be remedying that very soon.
  • This winter I’ve become somewhat obsessed with Chai tea… So, I can’t wait to make these Chai Pancakes from Sugarcrafter. There’s snow in the forecast here on Saturday, so I’m thinking we might have to celebrate with a big pancake breakfast!

Baked Ziti Casserole

When it comes to dinner parties around the holidays, I am all for thinking outside the box. Turkey, ham, and roast beef are fantastic, but sometimes I think it’s fun to do something a bit more casual and cozy, especially for a small gathering of friends or family!

Casseroles are a great way to keep things simple when you are entertaining for the holidays. Most casseroles can be prepared the night before, which leaves you with plenty of extra time to prep for your holiday guests.

Lately, one of my favorite casseroles is a simple baked ziti. It comes together quickly and has all of the flavors of lasagna.  Plus, it’s almost always a crowd pleaser!

Whether you’re entertaining a group of friends for the holidays or just enjoying a chilly evening at home, this is a classic dish that I think you’re going to want to try! Continue Reading