I have recently had a little case of blogger’s block. I have been feeling like maybe I have already blogged all of my good dishes. I cook dinner for my family every night, or at least 5 or 6 nights a week. I always look at what I have made and ask myself the same question: could this be a blog post? Lately I have been making our old family standbys like spaghetti and chicken cutlets. I thought people wouldn’t care about these dishes, but my husband reminded me that there are lots of people out there who might. So, pardon all the blubbering. Here is my super-basic tomato sauce with Italian sausage:
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 lb. Italian sausage (I think Sheridan Market has the best in Portland)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
- 1 t. dried oregano
- 1 15 oz. can of Hunts tomato sauce (I like it because it isn’t sweet)
- 1 lb. spaghetti (I use De Cecco, yes it’s more expensive, and no, not all dry pasta is alike)
- Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about three minutes. Add the sausage and cook until browned and crumbly. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Sprinkle the sausage with salt and pepper. Add the oregano and the sauce. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until almost done- about 7 minutes. Strain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Toss in the sauce and let it cook for another minute or two. Serve with parmesan cheese.
Note: Of course you can use any Italian sausage and any dry spaghetti. My philosophy about cooking is that you should always use the best ingredients you can afford. The quality of ingredients does matter. The De Cecco pasta cooks perfectly, it’s never mushy. It has a visible starch on the outside that, when cooked, allows the sauce to adhere to it much better than cheap pasta. There is no reason to put oil in your pasta water, (this is a myth) it will only serve to keep the sauce from sticking to the pasta. The pasta won’t stick together if you have a large pot of water and you stir it a few times.