Kitty's Bocconcino and Sausage Pasta

Quick Weeknight Meals Recipe Contest 2009

Recipe: Bocconcino and Sausage Pasta
How long does it take? 20-25 minutes
Category: Omnivore
Name: Kitty
Why is it a favorite meal? This dish always comforts me. Most of the ingredients are almost always either in my pantry or fridge. I just have to cruise by the store for sausage and bocconcino. The flavors are distinct and the cinnamon adds great depth to the dish.

Bocconcino and Sausage Pasta
Serves 2, easily doubles, triples, and beyond

This recipe can ebb and flow with the contents of your fridge. Once you've made this recipe, feel free to add, subtract, or substitute ingredients to accommodate your personal taste, or use up leftovers. Part of a quick, stress free weeknight meal is either using what is already at home or easily grabbed from the store on your way home.

2 fresh Hot Italian Pork Sausages, casings removed, just as good with Lamb Merguez
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 14.5 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste, (buy the tube stuff, it's a great item to always have on hand)
1/8 teaspoon chili flakes
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tablespoon chopped black and green olives
1/2 cup boccaccino mozzarella, cut in half
1/4 cup chopped basil, in strips
1/2 pound dried Spaghetti

Prepare noodles according to package instructions until al dente. Make sure to salt your water until it tastes like the ocean for optimal noodle flavor.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Make sure that your skillet will be large enough to accommodate adding all the ingredients, including the pasta. Add the sausage, and use the tip of a wooden spoon to crumble the sausage while browning. Once brown, remove sausage and transfer to a plate.

If needed, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet and toss in the onions. Continuously stir the onion to avoid it from burning, sauté until it is translucent and has a light caramel tinge.

Add the tomatoes, and break them up with the tip of your wooden spoon. Add the tomato paste and continue to stir. Toss in chili flakes and cinnamon, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper according to taste. Fight the urge to add more cinnamon; it's a background flavor.

Now, add the sausage, olives, and noodles. Just before serving, stir in the bocconccino and basil. The mozzarella will melt in the warmth of the sauce, make sure everyone gets a few for maximum enjoyment.

Thanks Kitty, and good luck! Readers, give Kitty a thumbs up if you like this recipe!

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