Monday, October 19, 2009

Fast Sausage Ragu

This turned out really well; I was a little leery of putting milk and tomato paste into the same sauce (although it's amazing with cream, so why not?), but it was fantastic.  And it only took about 20 minutes, start to finish.

For all that I keep wanting to color-correct this photo, the sauce did turn out purplish, since I used red wine instead of white... but I needed to open a bottle anyway, for the next day's stew.  Hence, purple sauce.  C'est la vie... it was delicious.

Adapted from Bitten; the only things I changed were to add garlic and to use red wine instead of white.  The first change I endorse, since pasta sauce without garlic is like a day without sunshine.  The second, not so much, since purple pasta sauce is a bit off-putting.  At least until you taste it.

1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/2 lb. Italian sausage, removed from casing if necessary
1 c. milk
1/4  c. tomato paste
Salt and pepper
1 lb. pasta

1. Set a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Put the oil in a 10-inch skillet, and turn the heat to medium; a minute later, add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage in bits, and turn the heat to medium high; cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is nicely browned, 5 to 10 minutes.  When sausage is browned, add a cup of dry wine and simmer until wine is reduced to almost nothing.

 2. Add milk and tomato paste, along with some salt and pepper; stir to blend, and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until thickened but not dry.

3. Meanwhile, salt the water and cook the pasta. When pasta is tender but not mushy, drain it. Toss with sauce and Parmesan; taste, adjust seasoning and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

I promise this tasted far better than it looks; this pic may scare you off this sauce, but it is absolutely entering my rotation of week-night favorites.  Next time I make it, I won't turn it purple, though.


  1. I'm going to try this this week since I have all the ingredients and am dreading the grocery store.

    If you want to go for an all-out purple fest, you could cook the pasta in red wine too, hehe.

  2. This was so good! It even got a compliment from Todd before I could prod him for his opinion. :)

  3. I'm so glad you liked it! Score yet another point for Mark Bittman.