In the mood for hearty, rich, comfort food? This Italian sausage pasta sauce fits the bill. It has a delicious blend of flavours and you can easily adjust the spice level according to your tastes.This recipe is one that we invented after I accidentally miscalculated the amount of sausage for a freezer meal session. I bought double what I should have, so I had to come up with recipes to use the extra meat.
One of the recipes I came up with was a simple Sausage and Peppers Skillet Freezer Meal. Another was an Italian Wedding Soup. I still had sausage left after making a few bags of those, so I came up with this sauce.
It was so good that it has gone into our regular freezer meal rotation. The second time we made it, we experimented with throwing some capers into the sauce. Amazing! I only thought of it because we had extra capers leftover from another freezer meal we had made, but it was the perfect addition.
Italian Sausage Pasta Sauce Recipe:
- 1 lb. Italian sausage, made into meatballs and cooked*
- 3 cups salsa
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/4 cup diced green pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1-2 Tbsp. capers, drained
Depending on your family’s preference, you can use mild or spicy sausage. We prefer the spicy variety! You can also adjust the spice level of this recipe by using mild, medium or spicy salsa.
If you’re unsure about the capers, you can try making it without them and adding them to individual plates for those who like them. I was a bit nervous about how they would go over the first time I added them, but my family loved them. They give just the right amount of tang and saltiness to bring this sauce to the next level.
To put this meal together, put the cooked sausage meatballs (see instructions below) and all the other ingredients in a large resealable freezer bag. Remove all the excess air you can and seal the bag before freezing.
On the day of cooking, take the bag of the freezer to thaw and heat in a large skillet until heated through. Serve over your favourite type of pasta.
I also like to sprinkle with Parmesan or Asiago cheese and red pepper flakes. A simple salad and some garlic bread would round out this meal nicely.
How do I make and cook the sausage meatballs?
*Remove the sausage meat from the casing and cut into 1/2″ slices or squeeze out sausage meatballs and flatten them a bit with your fingers. The squeezing method is messier, but it is easier to remove the casing that way and I find it faster.
Place the sausage meatballs on a cookie sheet. Bake in a 350° oven for 20 minutes or until lightly browned on both sides. You may want to flip them once during baking. Blot the cooked sausage meatballs on a paper towel to remove some of the grease. Allow to cool a bit before placing them in the freezer bags.
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