Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Italian Bistro Sausage Bolognese

Italian Bistro Sausage Bolognese

Continuing on with the quick holiday time weeknight recipes,  this one is perfect for those December days; think girls night out gift swap, friends dropping by unexpectedly, or for the "big" night when the in-laws arrive in town.  

This dish tastes like it came straight out of an Italian sidewalk Bistro:  A chunky tomato and mild sausage sauce laced with Greek olives, chopped artichokes, onion, garlic and fresh basil and oregano, served over whole grain bow tie pasta.   The recipe was inspired by one showcased at a local supermarket.   The supermarket version was delicious, but they used a lot of expensive packaged ingredients.  In the tradition of   "Just for Cooking - For the Healthy Home Cook," I took the whole thing and slimmed  it down.   I cut out a lot of the salty ingredients and I cut out the cream completely.  

The olives and the artichoke are so subtle in here; they add flavor but folks who don't like either will not complain because they probably won't even notice them in this colorful, fresh-tasting sauce.    Adjust the crushed red pepper to taste.

Italian Bistro Sausage Bolognese

2 tablespoon First Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
1 pound bulk Mild Italian Sausage or Turkey Sausage or sausage removed from casing and crumbled
2 cloves Garlic
1/8 cup Spanish Onion, roughly chopped
10 Basil leaves
1 teaspoon fresh Oregano
1 - 15 ounce can Petite Diced Tomatoes with Juice
4 canned Artichoke Quarters (not packed in oil)
7 pitted Greek Olives
Course Sea Salt, to taste
Crushed Red Pepper, to taste
Other:   Grated Parmesan Cheese

Add one tablespoon of the Olive Oil to pan.   Add crumbled sausage.   Brown over medium heat.  Continue to break up sausage with wooden spoon. 

Note: I recommend leaving the sausage a little bit chunky. 

Add all other ingredients to food processor.   Pulse on high until everything is blended to your liking. 

Note 2:  I like to leave a little chunkiness to the sauce, too.

Turn sauce into pan with sausage and stir.   Add remaining tablespoon of Olive Oil.

Bring to boil and reduce to simmer, approximately ten minutes.

I served this great pasta dish with garlic bread and a simple salad prepared with Romaine, chick peas, chopped artichoke hearts, crumbled Goat Cheese and Ken's Greek Dressing® with Feta and Black Olives*. 

*Not an endorsement and no product was supplied to blogger.
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