Whatever Pasta Sauce

I must say that out of all the starches, i.e. potatoes, rice and pasta, I have to say for me pasta wins hands down. If you leave it up to me we’re having pasta! However, I do have to consider my guys so I try to mix it up but if you left it up to them potatoes would be on the menu lol.

I have been cooking pasta for many moons now and my frugal, hate to waste nature helped me to develop my Whatever Sauce. Now, I know it’s not a fancy italian name but I’m not a fancy italian. The name “Whatever Sauce” certainly and indisputably describes what this sauce is all about. Whatever …. !

Let’s see, the last time I made Whatever Sauce the ingredients I had on hand were:

  • Sweet Italian Sausage (links not bulk) from pastured, grass fed pork
  • Pasta, of choice or on hand (preferably whole wheat or whole grain
  • Conventional or Organic Onions, chopped
  • Garlic, minced (to taste)
  • Olive Oil
  • Diced Tomatoes, preferably fresh organic or canned organic
  • Frozen Organic Peas
  • Dried Oregano
  • Fresh Basil, chopped
  • Leftover Rind of a chunk of Parmasean cheese (Tip: Never throw your cheese rinds away. You can store them wrapped tightly in the freezer for those times your in a pinch and need that yummy cheese flavor)
Here is how I applied the ingredients:
In a medium saute pan, heat a few swirls of olive oil, in the meantime remove the sausage from the casings, crumble and brown in the olive oil until just about done. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside. Drain any remaining sausage grease, add another swirl of olive oil  and sweat the onions and garlic making sure not to overcook the garlic. Once the onions are opaque, add the diced tomatoes, reserved sausage, dried oregano, peas and salt and pepper to taste.  Give it a quick mix and let simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. While your sauce is simmering, get your pasta in a salted pot of boiling water and cook to al dente.  When your pasta is done and before you drain the pasta water reserve 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water.
Drain pasta and set aside. Now let’s turn back to our sauce …. give it a last stir judging the thickness of the reduction* and add some of the reserved pasta water to desired consistency.I make my sauce a little on the thin side. Now this is where I use the parmasean rind. Cut a small piece of the rind and cube, you can do this to taste. Add the cubed rind to the sauce and stir until melted. Stir cooked pasta into the sauce and let rest for about 5 minutes so the pasta can absorb the sauce. Plate your pasta and garnish with fresh chopped basil.
There you have it …. you just made “Whatever Sauce.” You can use this technique for a multitide of variations. Be creative!
* TIP: In some cases as in the recipe above, I like to reserve some of the reduced sauce for bruschetta the next day especially if it is thick and chunky. Yum!

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