This pasta sounds fancy but it is very simple. For those who are learning some Italian food words, a pasta "zucchine a salsicce" is a plain olive oil and garlic sauced zucchini and sausage pasta. Add some tomato basil sauce and "salsa di pomodoro con basilico" becomes part of the entree title.
Fresh sausage is usually used for traditional Italian pasta entrees like today's recipe. I chose to use a dry cured hand crafted Italian Salsicce Calabrese in this pasta recipe. Dry cured calabrese pork sausage is similar to American pepperoni sausage but not quite as highly spiced. Calabrese sausage is usually used to flavor ragu recipes. The flavors of the calabrese sausage in pasta are bold and nice.
Cellentani pasta is a ribbed spiral shaped tube pasta that is perfect for picking up this sauce.
Salsa di Pomodoro con Basilico Recipe (Tomato Basil Sauce):
This recipe makes 5 to 6 portions of sauce! This sauce is made with the same Italian cooking method that is used to make marinara.
Heat 10 ounces of olive oil in a large sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
Add 5 very finely chopped garlic cloves.
Add 3/4 cup of minced onion.
Cook till the garlic turns a light golden color.
Add a 28oz can of imported Italian plum tomato puree.
Place a 28oz can of imported Italian peeled seeded San Marzano plum tomatoes packed in their own juices into a mixing bowl.
Squeeze and crush the tomatoes in the mixing bowl by hand.
Add the San Marzano plum tomatoes and their own juices to the sauce.
Stir the sauce often as it reaches a simmering temperature.
Pluck the leaves off of 1 small bunch of basil. (About 20 to 25 basil leaves is enough.)
Add the basil leaves to the sauce. (It may seem like a lot of basil but the leaves will wilt into the sauce.)
Add sea salt and black pepper.
When the sauce starts to bubble and simmer, reduce the temperature to low heat.
Stir the olive oil that separates from the tomatoes back into the sauce once every five minutes.
Note: The rule of thumb is to stir a tomato sauce once every five minutes. The olive oil will become part of the sauce after the sauce is done simmering and reducing. Without enough olive oil, a tomato sauce may end up looking like stewed tomatoes instead of glistening perfect Italian tomato sauce.
Simmer the sauce very slowly over low heat for about 1 hour, till the sauce becomes a medium thin tomato sauce consistency.
Set the sauce aside.
Just like a marinara sauce, tomato basil sauce should be reheated to order!
Cellentani a Salsicce Calabrese e Zucchine al Salsa Pomodoro con Basilico:
Cook 1 portion of cellentani pasta in boiling water, till it becomes al dente. The sauce can be made while the pasta cooks!
Heat a saute pan over medium/medium low heat.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Add 2 cloves of thin sliced garlic.
When the garlic becomes a golden color, add 1/2 cup of small chopped zucchini.
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Saute till the zucchini pieces become cooked al dente.
Add about 3 ounces of very thin sliced salsiccia calabrese. (Italian dry cured calabrese sausage).
Saute and toss for 30 seconds.
Add 3 ounces of dry vermouth.
Add 1 pinch of crushed red pepper.
Add 2 pinches of oregano.Simmer till the vermouth is almost evaporated.
Add 1 cup of the salsa pomodoro con basilico. (Tomato Basil Sauce.)
Add 3 pinches of chopped Italian parsley.
When the sauce simmers and becomes hot, add 1/2 tablespoon little bit of grated parmesan cheese, while stirring.
Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
When the cellentani pasta becomes al dente, drain the water off of the pasta.
Add the portion of cellentani pasta to the sauce.
Toss the sauce and pasta together.
Mound the pasta on a plate and spoon any excess sauce over the pasta. Try to expose some of the sausage and zucchini on the surface of the pasta.
Sprinkle a little bit of chopped Italian parsley over the pasta.
Sprinkle a little bit of finely grated parmesan cheese over the pasta.
Garnish with an Italian parsley sprig.
As you can see in the photos, it doesn't take too much sauce to flavor this pasta. The little bit of parmesan cheese in the sauce adds a nice richness to this pasta. Yum! Ciao Baby! ... Shawna