Recipe for today
Sausage + a balsamic tomato sauce you'll love 🌞
Happy Wednesday! I hope you’re enjoying the warmer temperatures and sunnier days this week. Today, I have a recipe for you that I love. It’s easy and flavorful, and you probably have many of the ingredients in your pantry already. If you’re a fan of balsamic vinegar, I think you’ll love this sauce.
Balsamic vinegar brings its signature complex sweetness and mellow tanginess to a tomato sauce that’s filled with lightly caramelized onions and savory, briny capers. Finished with spicy Italian sausage and rich, salty Parmigiano-Reggiano, it’s a dinner that delivers flavors on all fronts.
Finishing with basil is optional, but it adds a little something-something; plus, I always love a little pop of green on my dishes.
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The written recipe is below. The full post is up on my site and has more photos, substitutions, and nutritional information.
Sausage and Balsamic Tomato Sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil, more if needed
1 pound hot Italian sausage links
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons butter, divided
Pinch of sugar, optional
5 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or dry thyme, more to taste if needed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, more or less to taste
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
16 ounces bucatini, or your favorite pasta shape
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
A few fresh basil leaves, optional, for garnish
Extra virgin olive oil, optional, for serving
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the sausages:
Drizzle 1 teaspoon of oil in a wide pot. Turn the heat to medium-high. Once hot, add the sausages and cook without moving for 3–5 minutes until golden brown. Flip and cook for 3–5 minutes until the other side is golden brown. Transfer to a plate.
Sauté the onion:
If needed, add another drizzle of oil. Add the yellow onion and cook, occasionally turning, for 6–7 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon butter and a pinch of sugar. Continue cooking the onion until it takes on a light golden brown color for 5–7 minutes.
Sizzle the aromatics:
Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter into the aromatics. Once melted and bubbly, add the garlic, capers, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper. Toss to coat and cook until fragrant, 1–2 minutes.
Simmer the sauce:
Pour in the balsamic vinegar and stir to coat. Cook for 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes and stir to combine. Add a big pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
Place the sausage links in the sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25–30 minutes. Check the sauce occasionally to ensure it’s not sticking to the bottom of the pot. If the sauce sticks, add a splash of water to lift up anything stuck to the bottom.
Cook the pasta:
As the sauce simmers, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a generous pinch of salt. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Scoop out 1 cup of pasta water, drain the pasta, and set aside.
Finish the sauce:
Remove the cover from the pot. Check the internal temperature of the sausage to ensure they’ve reached 160ºF. Remove the sausage links from the pot and transfer them to a serving platter. Cover and keep warm. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings to your preference. Just note that your pasta water will be quite salty, so keep that in mind as you adjust the seasonings.
Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and half the cooking water. Toss to coat until the pasta is glossy. Turn off the heat.
Add the grated cheese and continue tossing to coat, adding more pasta water as needed.
Add the cooked pasta to the serving platter with the sausages. Garnish with more grated cheese, a few basil leaves, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy!