Serves: Makes 6 servings
- 2 (28-ounce) cans Italian plum tomatoes with juices
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, preferably with fennel, casings removed
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ¼ cup lightly packed chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 or 2 small dried whole red chiles, or ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
- ½ cup full-bodied red wine (Zinfandel)
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- About 1 pound guitar macaroni or long, round sturdy dried pasta (such as bucatini or linguine), for serving
- Grated Pecorino Romano cheese, for serving
- Fit a food mill with the medium disk, and set the mill on the rim of a large bowl. Put the tomatoes with their juices in the food mill and puree. Reverse the crank to extract every bit of flavor from the tomato pulp, and occasionally stop to clean the underside of the mill with a rubber spatula, so the puree falls freely. Discard the pulp left in the strainer. Set the pureed tomatoes aside.
- In an 8-quart Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add half of the sausage and cook, stirring and breaking up the sausage with the side of a wooden spoon, for about 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Add the remaining sausage and cook, stirring and breaking up any chunks with the edge of the spoon, for 10 minutes, or until sausage is lightly browned. Add the onion, and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes, or until the sausage is browned and the onion is softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the parsley, rosemary, bay leaf, and chile, and stir to blend.
- Add the tomatoes and wine and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 1½ hours, until the sauce is reduced and thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Retrieve the bay leaf with a slotted spoon and discard.
- To serve, cook the pasta as directed in the guitar macaroni recipe, or according to package directions if using dried pasta, and drain. Place 1 or 2 large ladlefuls of hot sauce in the bottom of a warmed pasta bowl or deep platter and add the drained pasta. Toss to coat the pasta with the sauce. Place another ladleful of sauce in the center of the pasta. Pass the remaining sauce and the cheese at the table.