Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Beer-Simmered Italian Sausage Tomato Sauce

Whenever I cook this pasta, I think immediately of my mother. She invented the recipe while I was in high school running cross country. It quickly became my favorite dinner, the kind of carb-and-meat dish that would give me energy and stamina. So when I was visiting home this past week it was on the top of my lists of requests. And moms hardly ever pass up the opportunity to fill a son's request for home cooking.

This recipe is basically a more delicious version of the standard spaghetti-and-meat-sauce dinner of so many American childhoods. Instead of browned ground beef, my mom would simmer Italian sausages in beer, then slice them into the sauce. The sauce itself is a straightforward affair with onion and garlic in olive oil, canned diced tomatoes, a few dried herbs, and salt and pepper. But the juicy sausages take it to the next level, especially with a few spoonfuls of the pork-fat-infused beer broth that goes into the sauce. I mean really, why should that stuff go to waste?

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. He is currently living for the year in Tartu, Estonia.

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