I wrote this post for the guy or gal who might want to venture in the kitchen and make a Valentine dinner but wanted something easy, good, romantic, and did I say easy? The sauce is the time consuming piece, but if you make the sauce on Sunday, it's like heating leftovers the night of the big dinner. This recipe will make enough sauce to freeze or use in other dishes too!
The only special kitchen accessory needed might be the food processor, but I will assume most people have those.
Ready? Let's make a Valentine's dinner to be remembered.
- 1 pound hot italian sausage (casing removed)
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery ribs
- 1 large yellow onion, quartered
- 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
- 3 cloves of garlic
All of the above vegetables should be pulsed in a food processor until finely chopped. See picture above with chopped veggies in the bowl for reference.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup of chicken broth or turkey broth
- 1/2 cup of red or white wine
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 12 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup of water
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 box of whole wheat penne pasta
- Fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded or grated for garnishing
- More fresh parsley, chopped for garnishing
Remove the casing from the sausage and discard. Heat the oil until shimmering in a pan add the italian sausage first, breaking it up with a fork as it cooks and crumbles. Add the pork and cook until done. Pork will not brown like hamburger so when it starts to crumble, it is done. Remove and reserve in a bowl.
Add the vegetables to the pan, stirring and coating with the grease from the meat.
Once the vegetables are soft, add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Add the broth,white wine, and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes and continue simmering for 10 minutes, then return the meat to the sauce and stir.
Add 1 cup of water and allow the sauce to slowly simmer for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Remember, this prep work can all be done Sunday. Once finished, remove sauce, allow to cool and store in the fridge until ready to use.
Cook the pasta according to the directions (reserving some of the pasta liquid) and heat the sauce in a pan. Once the sauce is heated add the cooked noodles to the pan, adding a little of the cooking liquid from the noodles. Toss to coat evenly. You want to go light on the sauce enough to coat the noodles but not drown them.
Finish with fresh parmesan and chopped parsley.
Serve your pasta with a side salad, fresh bread, and a glass of wine. Again, the prep is in the sauce — dinner on Valentine's Day will take less than 30 minutes!
I certainly enjoy eating out but this day is not one of them! What are you doing?
E.A.T. local E.A.T. well