This is about as simple a tomato sauce recipe can get, but the thing that makes it so much better than anything else I’ve tried is the fresh ingredients, especially the tomatoes, basil, and cheese. If you have vine ripe farmers’ market tomatoes, you have to make this. I mean, check out the ingredients on the jarred sauces in the store – we’re talking about all sorts of weird things like high fructose corn syrup.

I also like to make this healthier by using turkey sausage and serving the sauce over whole wheat pasta, which I swear is just as good if not better than regular pasta. And, of course, we like to run to the bakery down the street and make some garlic bread to sop up the extra sauce.

Fresh Tomato, Basil and Spicy Sausage Pasta

15 or so ripe plum tomatoes
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion
some fresh basil
1 pound spicy Italian sausage
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
4 cloves garlic (or however much garlic you’d like)
salt to taste (watch out – the sausage is salty so don’t overdo it)
optional: freshly grated parmesan cheese

Heat the oil and garlic in a large pot. Add the chopped onion and chopped sausage. After the sausage is cooked through, add the chopped tomatoes (you can peel and seed them if you want, but I just throw them in) and crushed red pepper. Cook on low for about an hour – the longer, the better. Add gently shredded basil right before serving – you don’t want the leaves to cook, you just want them to turn bright green. Serve over pasta and top with parmesan cheese.

Eat while watching the first season DVD of 30 Rock, which has totally turned you around on Alec Baldwin.

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