Pasta with Sausage Meat Sauce

Serves 4 to 6; Makes 2 Quarts
Rosemary adds a hint of fresh herby-pineyness to the rich sauce. I make enough so I have an extra quart to freeze for a thaw-and-heat meal (the sauce will be ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta).


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, removed from casings
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes
  • 1 (6-inch) sprig rosemary
  • 1 pound pasta


  1. Heat a 4- to 5-quart saucepan over medium high heat. Add the oil. When it shimmers, add the sausage and brown, breaking it up into small pieces, just until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the onions, carrots, garlic, and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and rosemary, breaking up the tomatoes with the side of a spoon or with scissors. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, partially cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and reduces slightly, about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. When the sauce has 10 minutes left, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente.
  4. Drain the pasta, toss with 4 cups of the sauce, and serve. (The remaining quart of sauce should be cooled, then transferred to a freezer-safe container with a tight-fitting lid; it can be frozen for up to 6 months.)
cook's note
Freezer Friend: Make, don’t buy, your very own convenience items. My freezer is like a train station: there is a constant rotation in and out. I’m always pulling out frozen things (chicken breasts, burger patties, wonton wrappers, etc.) to cook that night or freezing leftovers or putting just-made desserts in the freezer for later.
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