Ya, the title of this dish is way too long… How about we dub this the “Yes. I. Did.” pasta.
Hubs came home and asked… Did you put sausage in that? “Yes I did”
Did you put meatballs in that? “Yes I did”
Mushrooms? “Yes I did”
Red Wine? “Double. Yes. I. did!”
Then I covered that baby with fresh mozzarella… YES. I. DID. 😉
Wow my corny-ness has gotten out of control!
Oh, well… I am who I am!
Anyhow, call this pasta whatever you want… it’s the best dang pasta I’ve made to date!
I mean seriously… look at the goodness:
The sauce may seem complicated… but it’s really not. It just takes some love and some time (Rule #1: the longer a red sauce simmers – the better!).
This is the epitome of an Italian Sunday Sauce (or “gravy”). Sunday Gravy is a glorious red sauce with lots of meat in it (hello sausage and meatballs!). It was typically made on a Sunday (or for a special occasion), put together with a lot of love, and simmered all day long until it was ready to be eaten!
This sauce can be made ahead and then turned down to simmer and it’ll be ready to roll when your guests arrive (making entertaining a BREEZE)!
Pasta with Italian Sausage, Meatball, Mushroom and Red Wine Tomato Sauce
Yield: 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 1/2 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours
The ultimate comfort food! This makes a LOT of sauce. Great for a crowd, or you can freeze half of the sauce for a later use (if you freeze half of the sauce - only make 1 pound of the pasta)!
For the Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.4 pounds hot italian sausage links
12 ounces mushrooms, wiped clean, de-stemmed and halved
1 1/2 cups red wine
28 ounces whole tomatoes, undrained
28 ounces diced tomatoes, undrained
6 cloves garlic, grated
2 teaspoons salt
dash of crushed red pepper
2 bay leaves
For the Meatballs:
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound ground hot italian sausage
3/4 plain bread crumbs
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds pasta of choice, cooked according to package instructions
Fresh mozzarella, sliced
Crushed Red pepper, for garnish
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Heat olive oil in a large heavy bottomed stock pot (or cast iron pot) over medium heat. When the oil is nice and hot, brown the italian sausage links for about 10 minutes (turning every couple of minutes). Remove from pot and slice sausage into rounds. Place back into stock pot and allow to finish cooking through (another 5 minutes or so). Add the mushrooms and saute until softened (5-6 minutes).
Add the wine to the pot to allow it to deglaze the brown bits off the bottom. Simmer for 5-6 minutes. While it is simmering, add both cans of tomatoes and garlic to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Pour mixture into the pot and season with the salt, crushed red pepper, and 2 bay leaves. stir to combine and allow to simmer.
While sauce is simmering, preheat oven to 400º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add meatball ingredients to a large bowl and mix well with your (clean) hands. Roll into small 3/4" diameter balls. Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes (until browned on the outside and cooked mostly through). Add meatballs to the sauce and stir. Allow to continue simmer for at least 20-25 minutes (but you can simmer for HOURS if you'd like!).
To serve: Remove bay leaves from the sauce. Toss cooked pasta and sauce together (or you can top the pasta with sauce if you prefer). Dish up individual servings and place slices of mozzarella cheese on top. Place in the oven under the broiler until cheese is melted. Serve with crushed red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese.