Keep things hot and spicy this Winter!
Spaghetti with Spicy Sausage Marinara
Yield: Serves 4
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ pound spicy Italian pork sausage
2 large yellow onions, peeled and diced small (3 cups)
12 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped roughly (¼ cup)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained, preferably fire-roasted
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped finely
1 dried bay leaf
¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
⅛ teaspoon crushed red chile pepper (chile flakes), or to taste
½ teaspoon ground fennel seed
¾ pound spaghetti
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, not pre-grated
¼ cup flat-leaf Italian parsley leaves
For the pasta, bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil.
Add the olive oil, sausage, and onions to a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent, breaking up the sausage into small pieces with the back of a wooden spoon as it cooks.
Add the garlic, stir and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes more.
Add the remaining ingredients and continue cooking, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, reducing the heat to low and stirring more often as the sauce thickens.
Once thick, remove the bay leaf and, season to taste with salt and pepper.
For the pasta, once the water has come to a rolling boil, add 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Stir the penne into the boiling salted water and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente (almost done, or “to the tooth”). Drain (do not rinse), reserving 1/3 cup of the pasta water. Toss pasta with spicy marinara sauce, adding some of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce, if needed.
Divide onto plates and top with the freshly grated cheese and parsley.