Saturday, August 15, 2009

recipe: rustic tomato sauce and sausages

Walking through the White Bear Avenue farmer's market last Wednesday, we found a pile of roma tomatoes for just a few dollars. The heirloom slicing tomatoes in our garden are finally starting to ripen, so it seemed appropriate to use the romas for something cooked. We don't plan meals for the week as well as we should, but in the summer it's usually easy to slap something together with whatever we buy at the market. The following day I remembered reading an easy tomato sauce recipe in Mario Batali's Molto Italiano cookbook (a favorite). This, served with some wild rice pork sausages from Pastures a Plenty and a baguette, turned out to be a great weeknight dinner that also tasted great the following day.

Mario's original sauce recipe is intended for more traditional pasta applications, and calls for canned or skinned/seeded tomatoes, so I cut a few corners to make a more rustic version with chopped whole tomatoes. It's perfect for weeknights or lazy weekends.

rustic tomato sauce and sausages
*serves 4 as a main course or 6-8 as antipasto


  • about 2 pounds fresh, locally grown (important!) tomatoes, roughly chopped - if good tomatoes are not available, a high quality canned variety will work
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots (1-2 large, or 4-6 small carrots)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
  • 2-4 tablespoons of other fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley, etc.)
  • olive oil
  • hot red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 4 large uncooked pork sausages, dried with a towel, then dredged in flour
  1. over high flame, heat about 1/4 cup of olive oil in a wide skillet until just smoking
  2. sauté onions, garlic, and carrots until soft and translucent (8-10 minutes)
  3. while vegetables are cooking, heat another skillet over high heat with 1 tbsp of olive oil and sear sausages on all sides until deep golden brown (8-10 minutes)
  4. lower heat to medium, add tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are very soft and everything resembles a very chunky sauce (probably 10-20 minutes)
  5. gently lay sausages in the sauce and simmer over low heat for another 10 minutes, until sausages are cooked
  6. after removing sausages from skillet, stir the herbs into sauce (off heat)
  7. plate the sausages, pour some sauce on the side, and drizzle with some oil
  8. serve with bread and a spicy dry red wine

1 comment:

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