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Rustic Pasta Sauce with Italian Sausage, Zucchini, and Sage

Rustic Pasta Sauce with Italian Sausage, Zucchini, and Sage
  • Meal

    Pasta

  • Cusine

    Italian

Ingredients

5 links hot or mild turkey Italian Sausage

2-3 T olive oil

1 large sweet onion, chopped

2 T minced garlic

2-3 medium zucchini or yellow squash

1 tsp. Italian herb blend

1/2 cup finely chopped sage

5 ounces dried Penne, Rotini, or other pasta shape of your choice

salt for pasta cooking water

1/2 cup + 1/2 cup pasta cooking water

salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste

fresh grated Parmesan cheese for serving if desired

Directions

Cut stem and blossom ends off squash, cut lengthwise into quarters, use a spoon to scrape away seedy part, and then slice into pieces about 1/2 inch thick.Measure out the dried pasta and set aside. Fill a pot with water, add the salt and bring to a boil.Wash the sage, spin dry or dry with paper towels, and cut into thin strips. (I used my RSVP Herb Scissors to cut the sage.)Heat 1 T olive oil in large dutch oven type pan with high sides, crumble in Italian sausage, and cook over medium-high heat until well browned, breaking apart with turner as it cooks. This may take 10-15 minutes or more. (As soon as the water boils, add pasta, stir, and cook until al dente according to directions on your pasta package.)When the sausage is done, remove from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, heat 1 T olive oil, add onions, and cook over medium-high heat about 4-5 minutes or until onions are starting to brown.Add garlic and Italian Herb Blend and cook 1-2 minutes, then add more oil if needed and add cut squash. Saute squash about 8 minutes or until it’s tender and starting to brown.Then add the sausage, sage, and 1/2 cup pasta cooking water and cook 2-3 minutes more.Drain pasta as soon as it’s al dente, saving another 1/2 cup cooking water. Add the cooked pasta to the pan (with the additional water if it seems needed.) Cook 1-2 minutes more, season to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper and serve hot, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese to add at the table if desired.