Pasta with Italian Sausage and Yellow Tomato Sauce

As good as the Old Fashioned Sunday Dinner was, I need a little change of pace.  I’m trying to work my way through some of the stuff in the freezer from last summer to make room for this summer’s haul.  My recent re-reading of Animal Vegetable Miracle has inspired me to plan ahead.  Barbara Kingsolver reminded me that the time to think about the produce you’ll want in January is the previous August.  Thus I’m buying extra of things at the farmer’s market and freezing it so I’ll have yummy produce this Winter.   So far I have peas, green beans and blackberries in there.

But I digress, back to the change of pace.

I have some yellow tomatoes that I peeled and froze last summer.  Yellow tomatoes are sweeter and less acidic than the red which makes them a terrific companion for sausage.  As luck would have it I also have some Faith Farms sweet italian sausage.  That makes it pasta night here.  There’s fresh oregano and basil in the herb garden and plenty of whole grain pasta from the last time Kroger had it on a 10 for $10 sale.  Quick, cheap, good leftovers.  Meets all the criteria for the week.

Heavenly.  Just heavenly.  This is one of those nights when you make dinner without a recipe and wish you’d paid closer attention to what you were doing.   I’ll give as close an approximation as I can.  A note about this sauce.  It has a lot of flavor, but it’s not very saucy.  If you’re looking for kind of a liquidy sauce this isn’t it.  But I promise you won’t miss it.  When you thaw tomatoes there’s a lot of liquid left in the bag.  I cook the tomatoes down to concentrate the flavor.  If it’s too dry or you need to keep it going until the pasta is done you can always add a little of the pasta water to it.  Also, please use only fresh herbs in this.  Remember to add them only in the last minute or two of cooking.  That’s long enough to release their flavor without making them taste stale. Use a sturdy pasta like rotini or penne. The tomatoes and sausage are weighty. Your pasta will need to stand up to them.

You can use red tomatoes, but it will completely change the character of the dish.  It will be good, but like a lot of other sauces you probably eat pretty frequently.  The yellow tomatoes make a big difference.  There are a lot of possible variations though.  I think some zucchini ribbons would be really nice.  You can make those by running a vegetable peeler down a zucchini longways.  Just add the ribbons in with the pasta for the last minute of cooking and then drain everything together.  I wouldn’t add much else to this though.  It’s the simple that makes it so, so good.

Good? I believe I mentioned, heavenly!
Easy? Few ingredients, few steps
Good for company? Definitely
Special shopping?Yellow tomatoes. You can get them at a farmer’s market. If you’re in Virginia it will be later in the summer probably.

Pasta with Italian Sausage and Yellow Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

1 large sweet onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb sweet italian sausage, removed from casings
1 quart peeled yellow tomatoes
2-3 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
2-3 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
Salt to taste

16oz sturdy pasta (I used whole wheat rotini).
Grated pecorino/romano cheese for garnish.

Directions

Boil water and cook pasta to al dente. Be sure to reserve some of the water before draining if your pasta is finished before your sauce.

Saute sausage until slightly brown and cooked through. Remove from pan.
Reserve 2 tablespoon of sausage drippings. Discard the rest.
Saute onions and garlic until onions are translucent.
Add tomatoes and return sausage to the pan. Simmer on low until much of the liquid is cooked out. At least 15 minutes.
Add some water from the pasta pot or reserve.
Add herbs and cook 1-2 minutes.
Toss with pasta. Garnish with grated cheese.

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