Spicy Tomato Sausage Linguine

I made this spicy tomato sausage linguine from ingredients I found in my house and a recipe I found in a notebook. I had some of the stuff the recipe called for and the rest of it I sort of made up as I went along. I took some pretty basic notes and then remade it a few weeks later and it was still good!

So what is this? It’s something to make on a Tuesday night when you are out of ideas but still want something good to eat. It uses one pot and one pan and a macaroni strainer and a few utensils and that’s it so clean up isn’t too bad.

Okay, on to an ingredient list:

  • 12 oz. linguine or any other long pasta (if you use angel hair it won’t take as long to cook so be aware that the pasta might need to sit in the colander for a little while and therefore will come out as a blob when you put it in the skillet full of sauce at the end).
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 14oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water (try to use reserved pasta water, I always forget and dump it all down the drain then just stand there and swear for a few minutes in frustration)
  • 10oz. italian sausage, sweet since you are adding chili flakes but go ahead and use spicy of you like spicy food
  • OPTIONAL: A handful of pre-chopped frozen spinach

For garnish I had some fresh basil from a basil plant that hasn’t yet decided if it’s going to live or die and some parmesan cheese that I did not grate myself but rather bought in a little plastic tub from the top shelf of the cheese section at Trader Joe’s. You can also use the stuff that comes in the tall green can. A friend of mine used to call it floor dry which I still think is hilarious.

There are no onions in this recipe because I didn’t have any and I don’t like onions in my red sauce. If anyone is upset or offended by the lack of onions, I have to wonder why. You know I have only a minimal grasp on what I am doing here.

What To Do:

  • Set a pot of salted water to boil then put the pasta in it and cook to package directions. Set aside, I usually just leave it in the colander in the sink until I need it. You can do what you want since you are an adult.
  • Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil or whatever neutral oil you have around in a 12 inch or bigger skillet. Now, I say 2 tablespoons but what I really do is hold the olive oil bottle over the pan and draw a few circles around the bottom of the pan and call it good. I have the heat at about medium-ish high.
  • Add the tomato paste and the chili flakes. What you are going to do is cook the tomato paste while mixing it up with the oil and the chili flakes until the color darkens. After the paste has darkened, if you want, you can toss in about a quarter cup of whatever red wine you might have sitting on your counter. But you don’t have to. I did because it was just sitting there and I knew I wasn’t going to drink it.
  • Now put in the sausage in the same pan as the paste and brown it. This is all going to smell very good. You should have people over so they can smell how good it is and then they can praise you.
  • Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds to a minute then quickly add in the 14oz. can of diced tomatoes.
  • Stir it all up and then add the cup of water then stir some more.
  • At this point I remembered that I had pre-chopped frozen spinach in my freezer and so I added a huge handful. You do not need to do this but you can.
  • Now, for the love of all that is delicious, add some salt. Please. I am begging you. Add maybe half a teaspoon? Then stir it up to let the salt dissolve then taste it again.
  • Bring to a boil then turn down heat and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until you get that sharp tomato taste out.
  • Stir and taste at least once. And maybe add some more salt. Don’t be afraid. Invite someone in and have them taste it. See if they think it needs salt. This is also a good time to start setting that person up as the one to clean up after dinner. Be sneaky, it’s okay. You are feeding them.
  • When the sauce is yummy, add the cooked pasta. Stir it all up. If it seems kind of thick, like there isn’t enough sauce, add a quarter cup of water and stir and that should loosen it all up. Just make sure it’s all warmed up before serving.
  • I put fresh basil and parm on the top and then ate a ridiculously large portion.
  • As always, try to get someone else to clean up while you lounge around and congratulate yourself on another meal well made.
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