A Facebook Request: From the Kitchen, Pasta Dish by Stevie

I recently had a cooking post on Facebook where several people wanted to know the recipe or seemed to be ‘virtually drooling’ over the ingredients. Simple, relatively fast and it was better even a day later. It was for Spaghetti with Itallian Turkey Sausage Marinara sauce.
I actually do cook– really I do. I have made stuff from scratch but sometimes that’s not realistic when it comes to the time, effort and cost of ‘from scratch’ ingredients often-times. Ilearned from both grandmothers: one Spanish heritage and the other Croatian plus my mom taught me a lot. I have always been big on creativity when cooking– learning when to change an ingredient or technique and when not to do that. However today’s lifestyle doesn’t always allow for from-scratch cooking though I make killer chocolate chip cookies, fried chicken, Jack Daniels gravy and different pasta dishes including manicotti. (Now does that match the vision you had of me before you started reading this? Maybe not). However mixology is much like cooking and creating a cocktail to me is much more about immediate gratification so figure that’s where I landed. Besides I don’t drink as much as I would eat chocolate chip cookies.
The motivation for cooking was that I had found some Italian turkey sausage at my local market on a “mark-down special” — meaning buy now and cook now because it’s expiring soon. I purchased it knowing that I had many jars of inexpensive pasta sauce– read store brand aka Ralphs/Krogers.
spaghetti with tomato and sausage sauce.jpg
Spaghetti with Itallian Turkey Sausage Marinara sauce (photo courtesy of recipes.com)
Ingredients:
1 jar of spaghetti sauce– your choice of flavor. I use any kind that doesn’t have sugar though if it’s $1 per bottle, the brand doesn’t matter. I like brands that have chunky tomatoes or green peppers or various additions but that’s not crucial.
1 package of turkey sausage. I choose Italian because I like the flavoring and I always buy the MILD version and not the “hot or “spicey” version. Again, you can buy plain sausage too and it all works about the same.
1/2 -3/4 cup of water, juice, wine or beer– to cook with the sausages.
1 package of spaghetti or pasta– the type does not matter. This sauce would work equally well with rigatoni, mostacioli, ziti, large shell macaroni, rotelli, angel hair spaghetti, penne or whatever you can find. It’s your meal, your presentation thus it’s your choice.
I thought I had all kinds of shapes at home– turns out all I had was spaghettini– which is very thin spaghetti.
1 T of garlic-flavored virgin olive oil
1 T of lemon-flavored virgin olive oil
Both were small taster bottles purchased in a variety pack in San Francisco in April 2009. It was time to use them
I used my crockpot for most of the cooking — so if you don’t own one, buy one. It’s an incredibly useful tool to cook on slow/low heat things like chili, pasta sauce and other low simmer items. I tossed the turkey sausage in the pot on high with some apple juice (for flavor tweak and moisture) and left it on all day. At the end of the day or when I started smelling them as being “done”.. they were removed and put in the refrigerator over night — which has no effect on them at all in terms of flavor other than I didn’t want pasta sauce to cook all night.
The next morning, early on, I pulled out the sausages and chopped them into small chunks and tossed them back into the crock pot. I dumped in a single quart jar of plain spaghetti sauce with mushrooms. Was out of onions and other stuff I would have added in. I did add in something else– maybe a dollop of left-over wine but maybe not. It would be good with about 2 oz of wine cooked with the sausage or with the sauce. The order doesn’t particularly matter.
The sauce cooked all day on low and It got a couple of stirrings during the day and the cover put back on and left there.
When I went hunting for the pasta– and I do mean hunting– all I found was some very fine spaghettini.. and I wish I had made sure I had some of the rotelli since that’s sort of how I envisioned it. I did want it to have a special jolt of flavor so I pulled out the special flavored olive oil pack that I purchased at the SF farmers market when I was there in April. It was Sciabica’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil. They don’t have the pack that I bought in April– but they do have some varieties. The one I had was garlic, lemon, orange, rosemary, basil, and jalapeno. I chose the lemon and garlic because of the complimentary flavors to the sauce, turkey and each other. In other words, it was what I felt like at the time. PS. the price on the site is not the price I paid in April. Also I don’t see the assortment I bought there either. I have only 6 bottles and they are small and they were under $40.. and this stuff is potent!
Heating the water to boiling with the olive oil added to the water once it was bubbling, using half the package, I slipped it into the water and stirred it up. It was lovely watching it cook up. While it cooked, the table was set, I made some garlic toast and I think we had a salad too (pre-mix). The sauce was removed from the crockpot and put into a storage container to cool a bit. By then the pasta was cooked, so it was drained and rinsed with hot water, shaken out and dished into pasta bowls (or large flatter salad bowls). I ladled out sauce over it and sprinkled parmesan cheese. Wish it was the really fresh stuff, but didn’t have that. Next time, I will add that to the list.
The meal was great and I hadn’t seen people eat so fast. Also the left-overs for the next day were even better. So if you have the option and time to let the sauce sit overnight before you use it, so much the better.
Buon appetito!
Stevie Wilson, LA-Story.com


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Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. LA-Story.com appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

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