Sometimes I find myself in a rut when it comes to quick pasta tomato sauces. The usual canned tomatoes, a few herbs, garlic and onions—it's good, but it's a little boring. I thoroughly enjoy Batali's marinara on a regular basis, which grates carrots into the sauce, but I've been eating it all winter out of the freezer. When it's the middle of summer, I can chop up some juicy market heirloom tomatoes, marinate them with garlic, basil, and olive oil, then serve uncooked with hot linguine. But what about when tomatoes still suck and I'm out of ideas?
This recipe suggests simmering pork sausages in white wine, then using the resulting fat-infused liquid to flavor the sauce. I was further convinced by the use of butter instead of olive oil to begin the onions and garlic, which adds a little richness and creaminess to everything. And finally, freshly shelled peas are appearing at my farmer's market, and this recipe calls for those, too. Once again, Diana Seed's The Top One Hundred Pasta Sauces came through in a clutch.
- 1 pound short pasta (I used bow-tie farfalle)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, diced
- 14 ounce canned whole tomatoes
- 1/2 pound pork sausages
- 1 glass white wine, about 1 1/2 cups
- 1 cup freshly shelled peas, or frozen
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. As the onion begin to brown, add tomatoes with juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then simmer about 20 minutes, breaking up the whole tomatoes with a wooden spoon.
Meanwhile, prick the sausages and cook gently in the wine in another pan. Remove the sausages from the wine to cool, then strain the wine/pork juice mixture into the tomatoes. Slice the sausages into rounds, removing the casing first if desired.
Cook the pasta in abundant salty water, and add the fresh peas to the tomatoes at the same time (if using frozen, wait a few minutes before adding). Shortly before the pasta is done, add the sausage to the sauce to warm through. Drain the pasta, reserving some water, then add to the tomato sauce and toss to coat. Add a little pasta water to moisten, if necessary. Serve immediately.