So I know this really cool girl named Myera. She’s the girl with the mischievous half-smile perpetually on her face, the one who knows something is awesome when she sees it. And let me tell you, this is awesome.
A couple months back, Myera showed me a picture of a Sausage Pasta. It was any old pasta dish where there was sausage pasta, but literally, pasta in sausage. I remember laughing out loud when I saw the picture. It’s the oddest looking thing: the pasta is just hanging out of the sausage like it was always there and we didn’t break strands and strands of pasta trying to get them in there.
I decided that it was time to inaugurate my cousins, one of whom is visiting this summer and one of whom is staying with us to study in Canada, to the kitchen. The look on their faces when I told them to take the dry spaghetti and poke it through the sausage was priceless. Just as we were finishing up, my younger brother Kyle pranced into the kitchen. When he saw what we were making, he washed his hands and insisted that he join in on the fun.
I tried to hide my disbelief; this was the first time, ever that Kyle had volunteered to help with anything in the kitchen. Usually, it requires a lot of cajoling on my part and the temptation of a tasty snack at the end (Scooby Snax, anyone?) to persuade him do anything. Shockingly, he also volunteered to do the dishes we had used during the prep.
So spearing pasta through sausages doesn’t make this pasta dish any tastier, but it does make a little more fun to eat. Even my dad was impressed by the fantastic sauce and amusing presentation and went back for seconds. To me, this is the epitome of a family dinner. The food should taste amazing, be fun to eat, and inspire people to help. That’s the magic of good food.
Click below for the recipe.
I don’t really use a recipe for pasta sauce. I use a general proportion of meat to vegetables to tomato sauce to chicken stock, but the seasonings are not fixed. Usually, I just throw a bit of whatever is in my spice cupboard (cumin, garlic powder, mustard seed, oregano, Italian herbs, etc.) and some fresh thyme and rosemary.
To add some extra fibre, I grate some zucchini and carrot. It cooks into the sauce and enhances the flavour while slightly thickening it. Even the pickiest of vegetable eaters won’t notice the extra nutrients.
Lastly, I don’t bother browning the meat. I’m lazy and it takes too long. I just break up the meat, add the liquids, and let the sauce simmer for half an hour.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 1 medium zucchini, grated
- 2 medium carrots, grated
- 1 to 1 ½ lbs ground beef
- 3 cups pasta sauce
- 2 cups chicken stock
- salt and pepper
- ½ precooked sausages (like hotdog sausages)
- 1 to 1 ½ lbs dry spaghetti pasta
In a large saucepan, cook onions with the olive oil on medium heat until softened. Add the ground beef and cook for a couple minutes, being sure to break up the meat. Add the tomato sauce and the chicken broth. (A great trick I use here is to roughly measure the stock in the tomato sauce container, put the lid on, and give it a shake so that all the tomato sauce is mixed with the stock. That way, I don’t waste any of the sauce stuck to the sides of the jar.) Add the grated zucchini and carrot and season as desired. Simmer, uncovered, on medium-low heat for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop the sausages into quarters or sixths. Spear the sausage with as many strands of spaghetti as possible. Place on a plate and repeat until you run out of sausage. Cook all the pasta as directed by the packaging. Drain the pasta, toss with the sauce, and serve with some parmesan cheese.If you have leftovers, which is highly unlikely, you can bake it into a Spaghetti Pie the next day.