Ok, so this is an original recipe so I’m sorry if I am all over the place. 😉
- 1 box spaghetti – or whatever your favorite pasta is
- extra virgin olive oil
- dried basil
- 1 jar of your favorite sauce or homemade sauce – for this we used “Cleveland’s Own Little Italy Pasta Sauce” (I have a “recipe” for homemade sauce, but that is for another post)
- a blend of your favorite sausage, 5 links total, sliced – we used Johnsonville Italian sausage: cheese blend and hot
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 pound mini sweet peppers, seeded and chopped – or you could use bell peppers
- 1 package sliced brown mushrooms
- sprinkle of salt
- sprinkle of pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
- cheese for topping – we used mozzarella and goat cheese
- Pour a couple tablespoons of olive oil into a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, salt, pepper and italian seasoning. Add peppers about 4 minutes after onions. Cook until onions are translucent. Add mushrooms and cook until they start to get dark and shrink up a little bit. Add minced garlic and cook a couple more minutes.
- Add sauce and stir. Taste to see if you would like more seasoning. Reduce heat to low and simmer.
- Add sausage links to a saute pan. Fill the pan with water until the links are half-way covered. Saute over medium heat until the water level gets low and the sausage is almost cooked through. Keep adding water if you need to. When they are almost cooked through start adding olive oil instead. When finished, remove from pan and slice into bite size pieces.
- Add the sliced sausage to the sauce and continue to lightly simmer.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a sprinkle of salt, a tablespoon or so of olive oil and a tablespoon of dried basil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain pasta and return to pot. Coat with butter.
- Place pasta in a bowl. Top with mozzarella cheese. Cover with sauce and sausage mixture. Top with goat cheese (or whichever cheese you prefer).
Wine. I love wine. I can’t even eat anything Italian without wine. Ha! With this we had Duckhorn Merlot. (Duckhorn Chardonnay is really scrumptious by the way.)
Serve with garlic toast. We were feeling lazy so we got the freezer stuff for this, but I can post homemade garlic toast later on.
Yes – goat cheese. We are obsessed! It adds a creaminess to it that is pretty awesome! I feel like goat cheese is one of those things you either love or hate, it can be an acquired taste, but oh man was it good in this. 🙂
Yes, we always put basil in with our pasta water. A bunch of it will stick to the pasta. We also butter our noodles before putting the sauce on. We have a butter obsession, too. And we don’t seem to notice any issues with the sauce sticking or not sticking with the butter on there.
My husband claims that if you slightly cut the spicy italian sausage and cook it that way, it makes it taste better. I have no idea if there is any truth to that. LOL!
Also, if you are ever in Cleveland, Mia Bella in Little Italy is the best Italian place to go – make sure you make a reservation first. 😉