Last Saturday was a classic November day. Drizzling rain, dark gray skies and the atmosphere that makes you crave comfort food. This recipe will make you feel warm, comforted and satisfied. Now that's not putting much pressure on these simple ingredients is it? A huge added bonus is that it is cooked in one pot. One pot. Here's our cast of characters.
1 lb. mild (or hot) Italian sausage
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. dried Italian seasoning
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. dried red pepper flakes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 14.5 oz. diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
6 oz. water
2 cups dried mini penne pasta
14 oz. ricotta cheese
chopped parsley and freshly grated Parmesan for garnishing
In a 4 quart Dutch oven, add Italian sausage and break it up with a wooden spoon. Set heat to medium and let sausage begin to brown.
Add onion, pepper, and garlic and stirring occasionally, let mixture cook until sausage is cooked and vegetables have softened, about 7 - 8 minutes.
Add Italian seasoning, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt (about 1 t.) and several grinds of black pepper. Drain fat from pot if needed.
Add tomatoes and water and stir to combine. Raise heat until you have a gentle boil. Add pasta and lower heat to a simmer. Stir to make sure pasta is mixed in to the liquid so it is completely covered.
Let pasta cook for 8 - 10 minutes until it has reached the al dente stage.
Add ricotta cheese a spoonful at a time until all the cheese is in the pot. Turn off heat and allow the ricotta to melt into the sauce.
Remove from heat and garnish with chopped parsley and grated Parmesan.
Serve with garlic bread.
Oh yes....you'll only have ONE pot to wash!