sausage red sauce.

This recipe has always been known to me as H’s sausage pasta sauce, or more affectionally, ‘sausage sauce’. It was a recipe from a previous boyfriend’s stepmother, and it. is. divine. And addictive. I cannot wait for it to finish cooking so might as well taste test a spoonful, or twelve addictive.

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The first several times I had it, the thick and flavorful sauce was spooned over penne pasta, with plenty of crusty bread to sop up every last bit of sauce. Utterly delicious and addictive, but decidedly not friendly to your waistline. For my interpretation, we are using poultry sausage and serving over spaghetti squash. For all you spaghetti squash novices, here is a great tutorial on how to cook one. These lightened up swaps work when I want comfort food but am trying to watch what I eat. For total comfort, serve with pasta and bread. Also feel free to use pork sausage! I flip flop, and it’s amazing either way.

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I usually use diced or petite diced canned tomatoes, but I accidentally grabbed a can of crushed and realized it once I started to cook. It won’t change the dish at all, the sauce will just be smoother with crushed, so use what you prefer. I recommend petite diced: it’s a nice way to meet in the middle. 🙂

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Don’t skip the pesto – the richness really rounds out the finished sauce. If you don’t cook with wine, use half the amount of red wine vinegar. This makes A TON (I usually halve the recipe) but freezes beautifully. Enjoy!

red sauce with sausage.
from H. 

ingredients
a few tablespoons of olive oil
1.5 pounds Italian poultry or pork sausage (about 4-6 links)
2 sweet onions, diced (about 2 cups)
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated or minced
3-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 jar marinara sauce, your favorite
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup jarred pesto

directions
Heat a large heavy pan with a few tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add sausage links and cook, turning halfway through for 8-10 minutes, partially covering the pan while cooking. Remove from pan and after letting rest for a few minutes, slice into 1 inch rounds.

Add additional tablespoon of oil if needed, and add onions, carrots, and bell pepper and saute for 3-4 minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic and saute for additional 1-2 minutes.

Return sausage rounds to pan and add diced tomatoes, marinara sauce and wine. Heat to a slow boil and then reduce to a simmer, and cook on low for an hour to an hour and half. Add pesto and simmer for additional half an hour. Taste and season with a touch of sea salt if desired. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Serves 8 (generously). Freezes well.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

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ginger spiced apple-pear sauce.

I feel like applesauce is so underrated. It is not just for school lunch boxes. So, I’ve made you some! But not just any applesauce, a thick sauce full of not just apple chunks, but pears, spiced with fresh ginger, cinnamon, and lemon, too!

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This easy stovetop applesauce comes together in less than 30 minutes: just peel, core and chop the fruit, mince the ginger, and combine everything in a pan over medium low heat for 15-20 minutes or until the fruit is tender. Once you stir everything together, the fruit will break down. For a smoother sauce, use a potato masher to thoroughly breakdown the fruit. I like to leave it chunky for some texture. I know the ginger probably seems like an odd addition, but trust me! It adds a slight spiciness that plays so well amongst the fruit and cinnamon.

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The sauce will thicken as it cools, the photos were taken right after I took it off the stove, so you’ll see pockets of liquid: these will be gone once the sauce is cooled. Store in an airtight jar, and it will keep well in refrigerator for 7-10 days. Look for my favorite way to serve this next week!

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ginger spiced apple pear sauce.
adapted from Food Network. 

ingredients
3 Macoun, Fuji, or Gala apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 pears (Bosc, or other firm pear), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon unrefined sugar (I like coconut palm sugar)
1/4 cup water

directions
Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the peeled and cut apples, pears, minced ginger, lemon juice, zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Stir together to get the spices evenly distributed, and then add the water.

Heat to a boil, stir, and then partially cover and reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the sauce comes together and the fruit begins to break down, turn the heat off.

Once cool enough to handle, transfer to an airtight container like a Mason jar, and refrigerate once completely cool. Keeps for 7-10 days.

Makes 3 cups.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible*