Leave yourself a few hours to get this on the table. It doesn’t require a lot of “babysitting” but time to let the ingredients to cook down and the flavors to develop. If you have a food processor, mince the veggies easily all at once.
Ragout with Sausage and Broccoli
1 lb sweet or spicy Italian sausage (turkey sausage works very well as well as a vegetarian sausage)
1-2 T olive oil
1 large onion, minced
1 carrot, minced
1 celery stalk, minced
1/4 C Italian parsley, minced*
28 oz can of whole tomatoes (do not drain the juice)
1.5 t thyme
1.5 t rosemary
3 T tomato paste dissolved in 1 cup hot water
black pepper to taste
1 lb pasta, cooked to al dente
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets and coarsely chopped stems
Parmigiano-Reggiano & extra parsley for garnish
Remove the sausages from their casings and cook the loose meat in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add a bit of olive oil as needed if the meat is sticking. Saute till meat is cooked but not browned.
Add the fresh veggies (mince them in the food processor for easiest prep). Cook over low heat, stirring as needed until the veggies begin to caramelize; approx 30-40 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and their juice, use a kitchen shears to break up the tomatoes. Increase the heat to medium. Once simmering add the rosemary, thyme and black pepper. Continue to simmer about 20 minutes until almost no liquid remains. Add the dissolved tomato paste, reduce the heat to low and cook about 10 minutes more.
Cook pasta per package directions for al dente. About 5 minutes before the pasta is set to be done, add the broccoli to the pot to cook. Before you drain the pasta/broccoli, remove about 1-2 cups of the cooking water and reserve. Drain pasta/broccoli, return it to the cook pot and add the ragout and as much pasta water as needed for desired sauce consistency.
Serve with Parmigiano-Reggiano.
*I have just come across frozen chopped parsley. I am loving the flexibility of having parsley pre-chopped at my finger tips at all times. http://www.daregalgourmet.com