ahhh spring. I feel like classic Italian. My local grocery had Italian sausage on special and I have all this free Basil and Eggplant in my backyard so I made a big silly pot of spicy tomato sauce with roasted peppers and sausage.
The Italians are geniuses at maximizing the pleasure of food without breaking the wallet so I drew upon my own heritage for this month's grub.
My Mise en place ( for those who don't know this means "all in place")
2 large cans tomato puree
1 large can crushed tomato
5 cloves garlic par-roasted ( I'll explain later)
I large onion chopped
4 cloves garlic pureed
1 skinned, roasted red bell pepper
mushrooms, rough chopped large pieces
some eggplant, chopped,
1 TB crushed black pepper corns
1 tsp chili powder
good handful of Basil, chiffonade.
1 bottle of good dry red wine, I used a simple Cabernet Sauvignon but use what you have, no worries.
2 #'s Italian sausage.
1/4 cup dried oregano ( but Nick you say to always use fresh !! in this case I prefer the flavors of dried, get over it.)
2 bay leaves
Now, get out your blowtorch. Don't have one? Get your butt to Homo-depot and get one. It's terrific for skinning peppers and tomato.
After you char the skin off, place it in a plastic bag and let it steam for a bit, then wipe off the skin. Seed it and slice, done.
Semi-brown off your sausage. ( I only cut them in half) put them back in your fridge, wait for it.
Hey you know what would be cool? Let's take some garlic cloves and par-roast them. Heat up your smallest saute pan, add oil and throw the cloves in it, re-set to a low heat until they start looking a little roasted, turn them over, let them cook just for a little bit and remove from heat. if you need to, cut them up a little, save the oil.
Just before you take it off heat add the Basil chiffonade. Do this by stacking the leaves and rolling them into a cigar then use a sharp knife to make tiny ribbon slices.