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Sunday, December 2, 2012

#SundaySupper Celebrity Chef Inspirations: Rustic Red Sauce with Sweet Italian Sausages

 I have posted before how I was inspired by a group on Twitter whose mission is to get families back to the dinner table. I love this concept. This week, for #SundaySupper the theme is Celebrity Chef Inspirations.  How does one choose? That is such a hard thing for me. Who doesn’t love Paula Dean or Bobby Flay?  I personally love the Pioneer Woman, ReeDrummond. Her Blog was one of the first I started reading.  My grandparents owned a ranch in East Texas and I could relate to her and her style of food.  But, I had to go with my new food obsession. A show on the Cooking Channel called ExtraVirgin  also known on the web as Under the Tuscan Sun

Chickens, Yay!!
The show follows a couple, Debi Mazar and her  husband Gabriele Corcos. She is from New York; he was born and raised in Italy. I love their approach to fresh food,  Italian style served with a healthy dose of family time. They have chickens…Guess who else raises chickens? Yup, this Country Girl raises her own chickens. So, with them in mind, I set out to make my family a Rustic Italian Red Sauce. I am serving this over rigatoni with Sweet Italian Sausages. 

What you will need:
2 tablespoon olive oil
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 Bay Leaves
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
7 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
A 28-ounce can of crushed and peeled tomatoes
 1 teaspoons Kosher salt (salt to taste)
Black Pepper to taste
A package of 6 Sweet Italian Sausages
A pinch of baking soda…Just a Pinch though, trust me, this helps tame the acidity of the sauce. It’s my a family secret trick. Shhhh don’t tell. 
1lb of Rigatoni Pasta

Into my cast iron skillet, I drizzled the olive oil. Then, Add in your sausages. Let them brown and get a nice crust on both sides. Once they have reached the desired color, take them out of the pan and set aside. Into the pan, add in your finely diced onion. Let that sauté in the olive oil and tasty goodness of the sausages. As they become translucent, add in your garlic and allow them to continue to sauté for a few minutes. Then, add in the can of crushed tomatoes. Stir this around to loosen the bits on the bottom of the skillet and to incorporate the flavors of the onion and garlic. Into the fabulous looking red sauce, add in your bay leaves and a handful of the basil. Make sure to tear the basil leaves and not chop them. Chopping them bruises the leaves and this effects the flavor. This is a rustic sauce so uniformity is not required.  Add your pinch of baking soda and stir to incorporate it. Salt and Pepper to taste and then add the sausages back into the pan. Let this simmer on a medium low for about 25 minutes. 
Sausages swimming in the pool

While everything is simmering and making your kitchen smell heavenly, start a salted pot of water to boil. Into the salted water goes the pasta. Cook as your packages suggest.  I am looking for Al Denti when I cook pasta and in this case it took about 13 minutes.  Before draining the pasta, I add a teaspoon of the pasta water to the sauce. It is my way of adding that last little bit of salt and to loosen the sauce if it gets too thick. 

Drain your pasta and then it is time to dress it. For my kids, I slice up the sausage to make eating easier on them. Husband and I, we get the pasta with a sausage on top. This sauce is so so good. I love the way it tastes fresh even in the beginning of December. It’s the herbs that do it. The Basil and the Bay Leaves really make this dish. Of course, you can’t go wrong with onions, garlic and olive oil in my opinion either. 

From my house to yours, I hope this dish inspires you to make a family favorite to sit down at the table and enjoy together. This sauce can be made without the sausages and become entirely vegetarian too. It is good served over just about anything. My personal favorite is to serve it with a glass of Chianti but that’s just me.

: )

Check out the other Celebrity Chef inspired dishes on #SundaySupper and at these sites:

Starters or Snacks :
Martin at ENOFYLZ Wine Blog  - Oyster and Brie Soup and Wine Pairings for Celebrity Chef #SundaySupper
Linda at The Urban Mrs. - Inspired by Bobby Flay, Lobster Chowder with Roasted Corn Salsa
Erin from Dinners, Dishes and Desserts - Rachael Ray’s Cinnamon Popcorn
Cindy over at Cindy’s Recipes and Writings - Jamie Oliver’s Bread and Tomato Soup
Jeff at The Catholic Foodie - Drop Biscuits – Breakfast with Chef John Besh
Renee over at Kudos Kitchen By Renee - Giada De Laurentiis’ Garlic Toasts With Red Pepper Aioli

The Main Dish:
Sheila at Cooking Underwriter – Paula Deen’s  Chicken in a Crock Pot w/ Sauerkraut and Apples
Laura over at Small Wallet Big Appetite – Martin Yan’s Beef Chow Fun
Sarah over at Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends - Michael Symon’s Lola burger with crab tater tots
Susan at The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen - Ina Garten’s Baked Shrimp Scampi
Tammi at Momma’s Meals – Ree Drummond’s Sloppy Joe’s
Lane over at Supper for a Steal - Bobby Flay’s Rosemary Bricked Chicken
Tara from Noshing with the Nolands - Michael Symon’s Pork and Apple Scallopini
Shannon at Country Girl in the Village – Simple Red Sauce over Rigatoni. Inspired by,  Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos
Kris over at In the Kitchen with Audrey and Maurene - Rachael Ray’s Muffin Tin Meatloaf
Nicole from The Daily Dish Recipes - Paula Deen’s Slow Cooker Pulled Pickled Pork Sandwiches
Becca from It’s Yummilicious - Ina Garten’s Grown Up Bacon Mac & Cheese
Alice at  Hip Foodie Mom - Sunday Pot Roast with Risotto Cakes from Kelsey Nixon
Jen over at  Juanita’s Cocina - The Neely’s White Turkey Chili
Brianne from Cupcakes & Kale Chips - Crockpot Beef Pot Roast with Mushrooms inspired by Giada DeLaurentiis
Isabel at Family Foodie - Polenta with Garlicky Shrimp inspired by Chef Todd English
Wendy from The Weekend Gourmet - Shrimp Penne in Pesto Cream Sauce, From Emeril Lagasse
Bobbi over at Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen - Cheesy Poblano Chicken
Patti at Comfy Cuisine - Tyler Florence’s Chicken Francese
Roxanne over at The Roxx Box - Jambalaya Pasta with Penne, Chicken, Shrimp and Andouille
Sue from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz – Rachael Ray’s Spicy Corn Chowdah Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Jamie at Mama Mommy Mom - Penne with Asparagus, Smoked Gouda and Prosciutto. Adapted from, Giada De Laurentiis’
Tora over at Tora’s Real Food – Pork and beans with Alton Brown’s pickled pork
Elisabeth over at The Hand That Rocks The Ladle - Emeril’s New Orleans Style Red Beans & Rice

Amazing Sides:
Megan from I Run For Wine - Curtis Stone’s Acorn Squash Roasted with Thyme
Sandi over at Midlife Road Trip -  Gabriele Corcos’s Gnocchi di Patate
Shelby at  Diabetic Foodie - Orange Pecan Black Rice, adapted from Ina Garten
Katie from She likes Ruffles, He likes Truffles - Chef Fabio Viviani’s Spinach and Artichoke Risotto

Sweet Endings:
Renee over at Magnolia Days – Brownie Tart
Conni at The Foodie Army Wife - Inspired by Ree Drummond – Scrumptious Apple Coffee Cake
Paula over at Vintage Kitchen Notes - Bill Granger´s Cherry Tart
Pam from The Meltaways – Savannah Sheet Cake
Katy over at Happy Baking Days - Mary Berry’s Treacle Tart
Jaime over at Mom’s Test Kitchen - Southern Tea Cakes
Amy over at Kimchi MOM - Crack Pie, I Can’t Quit You
Lyn from The Lovely Pantry - Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Squares
Melanie at From Fast Food to Fresh Food – Sand Tarts
Wine Pairings: 
Martin at ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Please join on us via Twitter for #SundaySupper on December 2, 2012, throughout the day. In the evening, we will meet at 7 PM EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chatAll you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.
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  1. I just love homemade pasta sauce. This red sauce sounds divine and I would add sausage too :)

  2. Thank you! Yes, Hubs was right on that addition. Shhhh lol The sausage really bulks up the meal from light dinner to hearty supper.

  3. Looks yummy! I'll bet any kind of sausage goes well with this sauce!

  4. I have Extra Virgin set on my DVR, it's one of my absolute favorites. I love their chemistry...and their food! This sounds delicious, and I am always up for adding sweet Italian Sausage to a red sauce dish - fantastic! Great job on your first Sunday Supper post :)

  5. Thank you Thank you! So excited that I stayed up just to be sure my scheduled post posted lol. Crushed Red Pepper flakes could be added to this sauce too if anyone is looking for more of a kick.

  6. Anything Italian is a-ok in my book! There is something so special about homemade pasta sauce....

  7. LOVE pasta, sauce & sausage for sunday dinner!!!!

  8. You are the second one I have run across that talks about the show Extra Virgin. I have not seen it yet and I need to check it out especially if there are great recipes like this one to discover.

  9. Love the addition of sausage, this looks like a great red sauce!

  10. Thank you everyone: ) I highly recommend checking out Extra Virgin on the Cooking Channel. They are a great couple and I really love their simple healthy recipes. Yum!

  11. Anything italian is fine with me, and I have a soft spot for sausage in sauces. A wonderful recipe! Welcome to the group!

  12. A good red sauce is beautiful!

  13. The recipe sounds great, but I a most intrigued by the baking soda trick!

    1. It's an old family trick. Just a pinch will do it. Too much makes the sauce have no acidity and I've been warned that tastes terrible. This really works and I've never had to add sugar to a sauce. I should say too this is only for fresh sauce, won't hold up if you are canning.

  14. Oh I am excited to give your baking soda trick a try. My eyes have recently been opened to the amazing qualities of baking soda.

  15. You will have to keep me posted on what you think. Just a pinch. It almost carbonates the sauce and cuts acidity. As it cooks down the sauce is not carbonated lol no bubbles or anything.

  16. I watch this show too and I love their simple Tuscan cooking. Who doesn't love a simple red sauce with thick rigatoni. I sure do. Looks beautiful and I bet tastes amazing.

  17. I have Extra Virgin set up on my DVR. I love them and he isn't hard on the eyes either LOL I love this recipe, thank so much for sharing it!!

  18. I am so glad you joined us Around the Family TAble for #SundaySupper this week! What a great recipe to share! Can't wait to try it... I love Extra Virgin.

  19. #SundaySupper is such a great concept and movement! I just love it. Thank you all for the comments. I would love to know what everyone thinks of the sauce if they make it and try out the Baking Soda trick. I love Extra Virgin...Their style is really cool too.

  20. This is a great recipe! I look forward to trying it out. Welcome to #SundaySupper!

  21. I only get Cooking Channel when it is a free channel for the month, so when I do, I try to record as many shows as possible! Extra Virgin wasnt on my list, but now I know to watch a few episodes next time I can. Welcome to #SundaySupper!

  22. I can not say thank you enough for such an awesome welcome. #NewGirlProblem... I have so many new recipes I can't wait to try out! lol You are all fabulous!

  23. Wow! This pasta looks amazing! I LOVE Debi Mazar and Gabriele and watch their show all the time. . I LOVE it! :)