pasta with sausage and fresh mozzarella
It is a testament to the yumminess of this easy pasta recipe that I ate it while afflicted with pine mouth (I wouldn’t have believed it could exist until it happened to me!) and still thought it was delicious. It is a great variation on the theme of pasta with tomato sauce– enough of the same flavors to be a comforting and familiar meal, yet enough new things (the spiciness of hot italian sausage, the subtle kick of olives, and the gooey strings of melty fresh mozzarella) to make it unexpected and fresh tasting. I really have nothing more to say about this recipe–it’s super easy and super tasty, so next time you need a new spin on pasta, give this a try.
1/2 lb pasta of your choice
1/2 lb hot italian sausage (we really like the kind from Market of Choice, for those of you in the area, but in general just make sure it’s a kind you enjoy)
1 small red or yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 14.5 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1 T tomato paste
Sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (I used about 1/4 tsp)
Dash of dried oregano and basil, if desired
Salt and Pepper
1-2 T chopped olives (we used a tasty greek mix with chiles, both green and black, but again, use something you like, or omit them if you don’t like olives)
heaping 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella– we used quartered bocconicini, but you essentially just want bite-sized chunks, so feel free to just cut up whatever you have
A few fresh basil leaves, if you have them
Set a large pot of water to boil for your pasta, and prepare it according to package directions. When al dente, drain and set aside.
While the pasta is going, start by browning your italian sausage in a large skillet over medium high heat, breaking it up as you go. When the meat is browned, remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reduce heat to medium and add chopped onion and garlic to the pan (there should be enough rendered fat from your sausage, but if the pan is dryish add some olive oil), and cook until softened but not brown, about 3-5 minutes.
Add the can of tomatoes (juices and all), the tomato paste, and your chili flakes, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Break up the tomatoes as you stir, and let them cook a little to break up into a nice chunky sauce (about 5 minutes should do it).
Then add the olives, sausage, and pasta back in and stir it all to combine. Lastly, add in the mozzarella chunks– they will melt a bit and be delicious when you serve. Garnish with fresh basil, if using, and enjoy!