Chicken Sausage Marinara with Zucchini


Serves: 4 to 5

For the Marinara:
♦ olive oil
♦ 1 small onion, minced
♦ 2 cloves garlic, minced
♦ salt and pepper, to taste
♦ 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
♦ 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
♦ 1/2 tsp dried sage
♦ red wine (like a merlot or a cabernet)
♦ 1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce

For the Pasta:
♦ olive oil
♦ 1 (12-oz) package chicken sausage (recommended: sweet apple); sliced on the diagonal
♦ 1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced on the diagonal
♦ fresh basil, thinly sliced
♦ 10 to 12 ounces pasta of choice: penne, fusili, spaghetti, etc.

Prepare the sauce: heat the oil in a large pot until simmering, then add the onion – saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, and allow to cook until fragrant (about a minute). Add the salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and sage – stir to combine. Add a healthy pour of the wine, allowing it to deglaze the pan. Once deglazed, add the tomato sauce. Fill the now-empty tomato sauce can with water and add to the pot – allow to simmer over LOW heat for 30 minutes to an hour, adding more water if necessary. (Note: can be made ahead of time; refrigerate for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to come to room temperature before cooking).

For the sausage: heat the oil in a large saute pan until shimmering, and add the sausage – cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, and continue cooking and stirring for an additional 3 to 4 minutes – add the sauce, and simmer for about 2 minutes. Toss with your favorite pasta and serve warm.

To read more about this dish and my musical pairing, click HERE.

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