We revived the big Sunday dinner last night, and I have to tell you, by the time this was all cooked up and ready, I was singing. Out loud, with wild abandon, completely content and happy.
Tell me that doesn’t rock.
It was a busy weekend. School fundraisers and baseball games and neighborhood parties and family commitments (and I had a few hours of real/paying work to do) and all sorts of things that led to my feeling like I couldn’t breathe by about 2:00 on Sunday. We were in a trillion different directions all weekend, and when DH came home from an outing after lunch and asked me where we’d go to dinner, and I realized I had one more meeting yet to attend last night, I grabbed the car keys and headed out to the store.
“I’m cooking,” I said. And I did–a big, traditional Sunday dinner that I made up on the fly based on a dish DH told me he’d had while visiting a friend in Florida a few weeks ago. Said friend epitomizes everything you’ve ever heard about New York Italians, and with him in my head, dinner was born.
Friends, it was spectacular. If I do say so my darned self. We all gathered around the table and connected, chatting and just breathing for a little while. And the chopping and cooking and stirring while listening to my kids shooting hoops out in the driveway was completely cathartic. Just what I needed.
DH proclaimed this delicious, and we all really enjoyed it. Next time you need to bring the family together over a simmering meal, I highly recommend this one. You need:
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes (I like Furmano if you can find it)
1 14-oz can of diced tomatoes (or fresh-diced ‘maters in season)
About 1/3 cup diced onion (I used half of a sweet Spanish onion)
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 tsp dried oregano
About 1/2 pound of hot Italian sausage (I used three sausages out of a one-pound, five-sausage package), cut into bites
About 1/2 cup of fresh basil, chopped finely
1 pound spaghetti noodles
In a large pot of salted water, cook your spaghetti to al dente. Drain.
In a large skillet or medium saucepan, heat the olive oil until it shimmers, over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they start to soften. Stir in the garlic, give it a minute, and then add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s browned on the outside. Stir in oregano.
Pour the crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes (drain them well) into the onion/sausage mixture, stir well, and lower the heat to low. Let this simmer as long as you can–mine went about a half-hour. Just before serving, stir in the basil. Serve over the hot spaghetti.
We had this with my super-simple garlic bread–I’ll show you that one tomorrow!