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A sauce my South Shore Italian wife likes that me and my Sicilian New Jersey childhood Christmases can accept - I’d prefer more of a bolognese, but throw a handful of mozzarella balls into this, do a pasta bake sometimes, bread crumbs, ziti etc, and I’m good.
This is a Kenji Lopez-Alt recipe, halved and reworded for my brain.
Heat some olive oil in a pan til smoking slightly. Add the sausage and fry it off.
Once sausage is cooked through, add the carrot, onion, celery, and garlic. Cook til all vegetables are translucent.
Deglaze the pan with whatever you want, scraping as you go. I like sake, but red wine, white wine, beer, stock, or water all work. Once the liquid is reduced by half and is glossy and a little thick, add a large can of crushed tomatoes (or a can of whole peeled tomatoes blitzed once or twice with an immersion blender).
Add a heavy splash of milk. Stir to combine.
Simmer slowly, uncovered, til reduced by half, or until bubbles rising through the liquid are 1/2” - 1/4” across, somewhere between 45 and 90 minutes.
Add a nice swirl of olive oil, stir til combined, kill the heat.
Cool completely. Portion into deli containers, top generously with fresh parsley, and freeze. I get 3 dinners out of this, which is as many times I want to eat it before I feel like making it again. Yes, you can easily double it and freeze more but that doesn’t work for me. If serving immediately (and why wouldn't you) 1/3 of the sauce over 5oz pasta feeds 2 comfortably. Can also be tossed with ziti or similar, topped with bread crumbs and parmesan and mozzarella, and baked.