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Italian sausage: Italian sausage is pork it comes in sweet, mild or hot. use whatever kind you prefer. Italian sausage has minimal fat so it creates a really flavorful and hearty ragu.
Mushrooms: Button or cremini mushrooms work great in this dish. Use whatever mushrooms you have on hand.
Vegetables: For my ragu i like to keep it simple with just onion, carrots and garlic. Onions and carrots are starchier vegetables so they thicken up the sauce nicely. Cover and cook the sauce till the carrots are tender. The finer the cut on the carrots the less time it will take. Sometimes i just opt for grated carrots to reduce even more time.
Crushed Tomato: Crushed tomatoes are the perfect tomatoes for sauce. They have enough meat on them to still break down and thicken the sauce but they arent so thin like diced tomatoes where you need to thicken it with tomato paste. To shortcut the dish you can use pureed tomatoes.
White wine: Red wine is most often seen in red sauce but a dry white works just as well. A dry white wine offers a crisp, clean and lighter sauce. Red wine needs a little more time to break down so the sauce doesn’t turn out boozy.
Spices: Dried spices are always welcome in ragu. I don’t even think you can add too much. My go to dried herbs are oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Finish the ragu with fresh herbs like basil and flat leaf parsley.
fresh or dried herbs: for this quick cook pasta dish fresh herbs are always welcome. fresh herbs have about 1 hour of cook time before the flavor is simmered away. so quick cooking methods always work great with them. dried herbs have a longer cook time so they make a great addition for that long simmered feel, use a combination of both to add depth to any dish.
finishing the pasta: cooking the pasta to aldente leaves it with a little chew. cook the pasta to al dente then finish the pasta in sauce. finishing the pasta in sauce will allow for the sauce to be absorbed into the pasta noodles. making it a more flavorful dish.
cooking the Italian sausage: Italian sausage is pork so that means it has little to no fat. skip draining the meat if you’re exclusively using Italian sausage. the little fat it does render makes for a tremendous flavor to cook the vegetables in.
pasta water: adding pasta water to your pasta sauce help thicken the sauce. the salty water will help silken and smooth out any sauce. only add a little too much and you can drown your sauce.
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