I love to cook a variety of recipes, but old Italian dishes are my comfort food.
Tomatoes and Zucchini for a Tasty Pasta Recipe
Whether you have a garden of your own, your neighbor has one, or you regularly visit the farmer's markets, you may find that you have an abundance of tomatoes and zucchini. I often find myself in this situation, and I need to figure out how to use up this produce. I've chopped up lots of it in my food processor and I've frozen it for later; I've also given lots of it away, but I still have a lot left over. I don't can, so I had to come up with a way to use some of it for tonight's dinner.
You can make any recipe your own. I came up with this particular recipe, but you can take this as a starting point and tweak it so that it becomes your own. That's the beauty of tomato sauce—it's very personal, and you can make it your own.
Some people like a sweet tomato sauce. Not me or my family. A little sugar has to be added to cut the acid of the tomatoes but not enough to make it sweet. But if that's your cup of tea, so to speak, then by all means, add a little more sugar. The same goes for all of the seasonings. Add just the ones you like, and skip the ones you don't or your digestive system can't tolerate. I hope you give this recipe a try, though. Mangiare Bene!
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
1 hour 5 min
Serves at least 4 people
- 7 fresh medium size tomatoes
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste, I used tomato paste from a tube, but you can use the one from a can if you like.
- To taste salt and black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
- 1 dash crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/3 cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
- To peel the tomatoes, let them sit in a bowl of really hot (almost boiling) water until it looks like the skin is coming loose. Then, cool them with cold water and peel the skin off and chop them. Cut the zucchini in chunks, no need to peel it. Cut the sausage in chunks about the same size as you chopped the zucchini.
- Heat a large pan and add a little olive oil. When it is heated, add the chopped zucchini and sauté for about 2 minutes on medium-high heat. Then, add the sausage and let it get brown.
- Then add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and the rest of the seasonings. Bring the heat down to medium and cover and let it all cook together. If it's bubbling too fast, bring the temperature down to a simmer.
- In the meantime, bring a pot to a boil and add the salt and start cooking your pasta. When it is cooked, add it to the zucchini and tomato mixture.
- Sprinkle it with your grating cheese and let it cook another minute to marry everything together and serve. Enjoy!
What Kind of Pasta to Serve This With?
This sauce can be served with your favorite pasta. My husband likes ziti and I like all pastas, so I generally use what he likes. But with this type of sauce with the short pieces of sausage, the short tubular pastas are the best. Rigatoni, penne, the curly types, or even the bow ties will be good with this sauce. You be the judge of that. Use whatever you and your family like the best.
Tip: Tomato Paste in a Tube
I wouldn't use tomato paste in a tube for a large pot of sauce or soup, but in a recipe like this where you just need a tablespoon or two or even three, it is more economical to get it from a tube. You just squeeze it out and replace the cap and refrigerate it.
If you open a can, you have to put it in another container and refrigerate it and if you don't use the rest of it in a reasonable amount of time, it does get moldy and you have to throw it away. So I have both, cans of tomato paste and also in a tube. I also have a tube of anchovy paste for the same reason.
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© 2018 Rachel L Alba