Sometimes, after a lousy crap-fest of a day, it is incredibly tempting to adopt the “eff it” mentality and order a pizza or get take-out. I had one of those horrible, terrible, very bad, no good days about two weeks ago, but I (shockingly) remembered that there are quick and wholesome meals that can be made out of standard pantry ingredients.
This dish was cozy and comforting enough to chill me out, but it was also on the table in under 20 minutes. It didn’t require any funky ingredients – aside from the basil, which I happened to have on hand because it looked particularly nice at the store, these are ingredients I try to stock regularly in my kitchen.
The resulting dinner was warm, flavorful, and satisfying. I served it with a small green salad, and it was exactly what I needed to put things in perspective and gain a new lease on life.
Preheat broiler. Arrange sausage on a small baking sheet. Broil sausage 5 minutes on each side or until done. Remove pan from oven (do not turn broiler off). Cut sausage into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices in a single layer on baking sheet. Broil sausage slices 2 minutes or until browned.
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
Place tomatoes in a food processor (I used a blender); process until almost smooth. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add crushed red pepper and minced garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, sugar, and salt; cook 4 minutes or until slightly thick. Add sausage and cooked pasta to pan; toss well. Top with fresh basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano.