2 pounds sweet or hot Italian sausage (or a mix of the two)
4-6 garlic cloves
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 large fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
3-4 mild peppers (such as cubanelles or poblanos) seeded & chopped
28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1 ½ cup vegetable stock or white wine
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil or butter
Salt & pepper, to taste
This sauce can be served over pasta or cooked spaghetti squash. If using pasta, put the water on to boil and cook according to directions on package. If using the spaghetti squash, preheat oven to 375 degrees, cut the squash in half, scrape out the seeds, drizzle a little olive oil on a cooking sheet (w/sides) and place the two halves face down on the oiled surface. Bake for an hour and then use a fork to scrape out the soft spaghetti-like strands.
Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter in a large pot or dutch oven. Remove the sausage from the casing and using a wooden spoon break into pieces while browning it over medium heat. Once browned, remove from the pot and set it aside. Drain most of the remaining fat from the pot, but leave some for flavor.
Put the rest of the olive oil or butter in the pot and sauté the garlic, onions, fennel, and seeded peppers over medium heat. Cook for about 8-10 minutes until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Add in the cooked sausage, vegetable stock or wine and the crushed tomatoes. Add salt and pepper and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Serve the sauce over pasta or spaghetti squash with a topping of grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil or oregano.
Recipe from Simply in Season: Recipes that celebrate fresh, local foods in the spirit of More-with-Less by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert.