Fatwa-Worthy Pasta Sauce (4 servings)

1 lb. hot Italian pork sausage (remove sausage casings, or buy sausage meat without casings)
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Olive oil (or sunflower oil)
1 carton fresh mushrooms (or 1 can sliced mushrooms)
28 oz. (or more) tomato puree
8 oz. dry red wine
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. fennel
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. chopped chives
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1 bay leaf

Brown the onions, garlic, sausage, fennel, and red pepper flakes in a frying pan with the oil. If you are using fresh mushrooms, slice them and add them to the sausage mixture. Do not overcook the sausage.

Put the sausage mixture and all remaining ingredients into a large saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf before serving.

This sauce can be used with just about any type of pasta, including lasagna.

The sauce requires no added salt, because the sausage meat contains enough salt to flavor the entire dish. The dry red wine adds just the right degree of tartness, without any need for vinegar or sugar.

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