It’s that wonderful time of the year when we crave recipes that remind us of the simple comforts of home. I finally gave up my half-hearted attempts to begin the South Beach Diet as the child in me yearned for the culinary traditions I grew up with.
This recipe is one my favorites during the cold, frigid months of winter. I’ve altered the recipe to make it a little more on the lean side, using turkey bacon and chicken sausage. But, you can feel free to use regular sausage and bacon if you’d prefer. Either way, this warm, hearty pasta sauce packed with robust Italian flavor will be sure to make mouths water.
In my household, this recipe is also a crowd pleaser for the finicky palate of my four-year-old who rarely eats anything that doesn’t resemble a slice of pepperoni pizza or a chicken nugget. Or this also makes a terrific option for a date night in with your special someone, paired with some crusty garlic bread and a big glass of red wine. You’ll swear you’re in Italy in no time!
‘Winter in Tuscany’ Pasta Sauce
2 lbs. Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage, cut into ½ inch pieces
6 ounces Turkey Bacon, diced
1 cup onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cans diced Italian- style tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (12 ounces) tomato juice
4 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 cup parsley, snipped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional- freshly grated parmesan cheese
In a large saucepan, cook and stir the diced bacon and sausage pieces over medium heat until golden. Add the onions, peppers, garlic, and olive oil to the pan, cooking until tender.
Mix the Italian tomatoes, parsley, and tomato juice into the meat and veggie combination. Heat to boiling; reduce the heat to low and cover. Let the mixture simmer, and stir occasionally for about 40 minutes. Uncover, add the tomato paste. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, about 25 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Yield: 12 cups
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