I am not a great cook nor am I a consistent one. My way of cooking things is to throw a little of this and a little of that and see what comes of it. That is not to say that I don't use recipes. I just don't ordinarily follow recipes. I have two whole shelves of cookbooks (what was left over when I weeded out before moving here). Most of them I use as a framework for doing my own thing. There is however a recipe that I follow, to the letter, and never have I varied from it. The first time that I made this sauce I knew that it was made in heaven and there was really nothing I could do to improve it.
Mario Batali's Sausage, basil and Sun-dried tomatoes
Makes 4 servings
1/4 c etra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
6 ounces sweet italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
6 sun-dried tomato halves, thinly sliced
5 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 c dry white wine (I use Pinot Grigio)
12 fresh basil leaves
In a 10-12 inch saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add the garlic and cook until light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the sausage and sun-dried tomatoes and cook, stirring, until the sausage is cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain the fat from the pan, then stir in the tomato paste and wine and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. Cook your pasta (tastes best over homemade) and drain. Add to the pan with the tomatoes. return to the heat, toss in the basil and stir gently for about 30 seconds. Serve immediately.
The bright fresh taste of the basil with the intense flavor of the tomatoes is truly a match made in heaven.