January 16, 2011

the bleak midwinter

… is not so bleak with a little work and planning in the height of summer.  Even though we arrived too late to buy greens at the Dupont Farmers’ Market this morning, we had our fair share of local produce for dinner tonight.

At the farmers’ market we got a yellow onion, and from the freezer we pulled some Italian sausage, bought at the U Street Farmers’ Market in October. 

Then, we opened the very first jar of my very first batch of home-canned tomatoes!  All the effort of that long August evening was worth getting to open a jar of tomatoes in mid-January and smell their fresh sweetness and sunny acidity redolent of a summer afternoon.DSC_0231DSC_0243 

Midwinter Pasta with Sausage and Tomatoes

printable recipe button 2

Serves 4.

6-7 ounces sweet Italian sausage (2 links)
½ yellow tomato, chopped
1 pint jar of whole tomatoes
2 gloves garlic, minced or pressed
2-3 pinches of salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
fresh parsley, chopped fine (optional)
2 ounces freshly grated parmesan cheese
8 ounces whole wheat penne (or other short pasta)

Set water to boil in a medium size pot. 

Meanwhile, remove sausage from casings.  In a large sauté pan, cook sausage over medium heat, breaking up with a wooden spoon as you go.  When sausage is almost cooked, add onion.  When onion is translucent, add garlic and tomatoes (with liquid).  Bring sauce to a simmer and allow to cook for 20-30 minutes; stirring occasionally.  Add water as needed.


When water comes to a boil, salt generously, add pasta,  and cook until al dente.  Drain.

Season sauce with salt, pepper, and parsley.  Add 1 ounce parmesan and cooked pasta to sauce and toss over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. 


Serve with remaining parmesan.


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