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. Tony's Pasta is bursting with flavor, and simple to make. It will not disappoint!
16ouncesRotini or other pastacooked according to package directions
Meatballs: Form Italian Sausage into 1-inch balls. Place on a baking sheet with sides, lined with non-stick aluminum foil. Cook at 350º F for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and drain thoroughly on paper towels, pressing as much grease as possible from cooked meatballs.
Sauce: Heat olive oil to a 12-inch skillet or Dutch oven. Add onions, and bell pepper. Cook over medium heat until onion begins to look transparent (8 to 10 minutes). Add garlic; cook for 30 seconds, or until garlic is fragrant. Add mushrooms and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the seasonings, petit diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. (If sauce is too thick add a small amount of water.) Cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated. Add meatballs and cook over low heat for 30 minutes (or longer if desired). Correct seasonings.
If desired, garnish with fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese
Serve with pasta (rotini or ziti), a fresh baguette, a tossed green salad, and a light red wine such as Beaujolais.
Yield: 6 servings.
NOTE: This freezes well. The flavor improves if made the day before and reheated before serving.