This pasta sauce with Italian sausage tastes best when it has had time for the flavors to combine. It is a good sauce to make a day ahead of entertaining.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium size tomato, finely chopped chopped
2-3 Tablespoons dried Italian herb seasoning
OR substitute equal amounts of dried oregano, basil, parsley and thyme mixture
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pinch sugar
1/4 cup dry red wine
3-4 Italian sausages, pre-cooked and cut into chunks
use sweet or hot)
3/4 cup water
2-3 bay leaves
1 pinch sugar
28 ounces tomato sauce (use a brand you like the flavor of)
Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet on the stovetop. Add the onions and saute for 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and simmer 2 minutes.
Add the chopped tomato, sausage pieces, seasonings and pinch of sugar and cook 2 minutes.
Add the red wine, stir to combine.
Stir in the fennel seed and cook 2 minutes.
Add the tomato sauce, water and bay leaves. Put a lid on and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to very low and allow to simmer for two to three hours. The longer cooking time will make a more robust sauce.
This sauce flavor improves as it sits. You can cook the sauce one day, let cool to room temperature, refrigerate and reheat the 2nd day.
When serving, cook the pasta of your choice el dente and serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.