Pasta with Italian Sausage and Tomato Sauce
Serves 4 to 6
This pasta with Italian sausage and tomato sauce recipe is a quick, easy and delicious main dish. If you cannot find bulk sausage, purchase links and remove the casings. Pancetta is Italian cured bacon that is not smoked. If unavailable, it can be omitted. For equally delicious variations made with lean ground pork or a vegetarian eggplant sauce, see the similar and related recipes links.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound bulk Italian sausage, mild or hot
- 2 ounces pancetta, chopped
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed slightly
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium carrot, shredded
- 6 large cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cans (14.5 ounces each) whole tomatoes crushed with fingers, with juices
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried marjoram leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound penne rigate, ziti or similar pasta
- Freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
Heat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then the sausage and pancetta. Sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, breaking apart the lumps as it cooks. Add the fennel seeds, onions and carrots; sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute. Add the wine, tomatoes, thyme, basil, marjoram, salt and pepper. Stir well to scrape up any browned bits in the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until the tomatoes are broken down, about 20 minutes. If desired, remove the lid and cook until sauce thickens slightly.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain. Add to the sauce, stir to combine, and let set about 2 minutes. Serve immediately, passing the grated cheese separately.