Mmmm pasta. I love pasta! K makes a really awesome version of his dad's tomato sauce, but it is a whole afternoon process, at least. Chopping up the veggies, browning the hamburg or sausage, adding a whole bunch of tomato sauce, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, and whatever else he feels like throwing in that particular batch. Then the sauce has to simmer on the stove top for several hours at least. The sauce is always amazingly delicious but it is a whole lot of work. So before we discovered this recipe, we would usually just heat up a jar of the pre-made sauce and call it a day. Although, I have never been a huge fan of jarred sauce, so I tend to just toss the noodles in some butter or olive oil and pile on the Parmesan cheese!
When I saw this pomodoro sauce, browsing through some blogs one day, I decided that the recipe sounded too good to pass by and went out and bought all the ingredients needed to give it a try. This sauce is very light and fresh and has a bold tomato flavor. The San Marzano tomatoes are worth the extra couple of dollars because the quality makes a huge difference. The sausage is not a traditional ingredient in pomodoro sauce, but it is a tasty addition and the fact that it is chicken sausage keeps this dish slightly healthier than adding pork sausage. This has become our go to pasta dish since is not much more difficult than heating up that jar of spaghetti sauce. I have been told that it tastes like it was made in a fancy Italian restaurant :) . Definitely give this a try next time you are in the mood for a delicious pasta dish.
Spaghetti al Pomodoro
Inspired by Simply Scratch
Total time: Approx 30 mins
1 box (1 lb) Spaghetti, Linguine, or other pasta of your choice
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 28oz can San Marzano whole tomatoes
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp white sugar
1 large pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1 package (4 links) precooked chicken sausage, optional
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to the package instructions. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and add the diced onion. Cook the onion for 3-5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. With your hands, squeeze the whole tomatoes over the skillet, breaking into small pieces. Add any remaining tomato sauce as well. Fill the can with about 1/2 a cup of tap water to help pour out all of the tomato sauce into the skillet. Season the tomato sauce with sugar, red pepper flake, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low and let the sauce bubble for about 20 minutes. While the sauce is bubbling, slice the sausage into bite size pieces and brown in a skillet over medium heat until heated through. Once the sauce is thickened, stir in 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese and the fresh basil. Add the drained pasta and butter into the sauce and stir everything together to combine. Add the reserved pasta cooking water, as needed, to help adhere the sauce to the noodles and give the sauce the right texture for your liking. Add the chicken sausage and serve with additional Parmesan cheese.