Years ago a colleague named Tony (who by the way was Italian), brought an incredible pasta dish to an office gathering. I asked him for the recipe, and he graciously agreed. The last time that I remember making Tony’s Pasta was in 1991 (yes, I’m that old!) for a family gathering. I honestly don’t know why I haven’t made it again until now, but I guess that’s life. Anyway, you should try this – it’s bursting with flavor, and simple to make. It will not disappoint!
The ingredients include Sweet Italian Sausage, olive oil, onion, bell pepper, garlic, fresh mushrooms, salt, dried oregano, dried basil, fennel seeds, petit diced tomatoes, and tomato paste.
I started by forming the the Italian sausage into 1-inch balls. Then I placed them on a baking sheet with sides, that I had lined with non-stick aluminum foil, and cooked them in the oven at 350º F for 30 minutes.
After I removed the meatballs from the oven, I drained them thoroughly on paper towels, and pressed each one between paper towels to remove as much grease as possible.
While the sausage was cooking in the oven, I heated a bit of olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, and cooked the onions and bell pepper for about 8 minutes, until the onions began to look transparent. Then, I added the garlic, and cooked the mixture for about 30 seconds more until the garlic was fragrant. Next, I added the mushrooms, and continued cooking the mixture for several minutes more.
Finally, I added the seasonings, tomatoes, and tomato paste, and stirred to combine everything. I thought that the sauce was too thick, so I added about a half a can of water to thin it out a bit.
I added the meatballs, covered the skillet and cooked the sauce over low heat for about an hour.
I tasted the sauce, and added a bit more salt. I served the sauce over Rotini with a freshly made baguette. Yum!