Hey, do you like garlic? Cool, me too. What about roasted garlic? Even better, you say? Oh good, obviously we’re going to get along. As my good friend, let me offer you this: a pasta sauce with not one, not two, but three heads – that’s three heads – of roasted garlic, as well as two cloves of regular garlic sauteed the ordinary way. The whole “don’t kiss anyone though!” thing is nonsense, by the way. If you’re trying to kiss someone who is going to be offended by the aroma of garlic, you need to reevaluate your romantic choices.
This recipe comes from The Cozy Apron, where it was a nice healthy option with whole-wheat pasta and chicken sausage. Needless to say, that’s gone out the window as soon as I’ve touched it. Nothing against whole-wheat pasta – in fact, I just forgot entirely that I didn’t have any small pasta when I went out to buy ingredients, so I didn’t get any and had to make do with the regular spaghetti I had on hand. The chicken sausage, though, well, I just like the pork kind better. One other change was that maybe the consistency of chicken sausage would have been different, but the pork sausage couldn’t really be cubed the way the original recipe wanted – doing that would essentially just result in ground sausage meat throughout the sauce, which is fine and all but chunks of sausage are better. In my opinion.
Pasta with Roasted Garlic Sauce
for the sauce
3 heads garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
4 hot Italian sausages (whichever kind you want, really – I used the regular kind, but if you feel like chicken tonight, like chicken tonight – chicken tonight!- then go for it), sliced
1 small onion, or half a medium sized one, diced
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp oregano
pinch crushed red pepper
1/4 cup red wine
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 14.5oz cans diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped (or torn, or snipped… whatever)
2 tbsp basil, same deal
for the topping
1/2 cup panko
1 tsp lemon zest – I actually just decided the almost-half-a-lemon I had sitting around the fridge from making hot toddies would do, so it was probably less than a teaspoon
1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped etc
1 tbsp basil, chopped etc
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan
for the sauce
Preheat oven to 400.
Cut the top off each head of garlic so that the cloves are exposed, but leave the paper on.
Drizzle each head of garlic with 1 tsp olive oil and a little salt. Or, like me, forget about the salt and just add it in later when you’re mashing up the roasted garlic cloves. Whatever.
Wrap up each clove in tinfoil (separately).
Roast for 40 minutes.
When they’re done, take them out, squeeze or scrape each clove out of its paper, and mash them all together in a bowl. The idea is to wait until they’re cool enough to handle, but we all know you aren’t going to do that, at least if you’re anything like me. Have fun with your slight burns.
In a big pot, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat.
Add the sausage and brown on both sides.
Throw in the onion and saute for 2 minutes.
Stir in the pressed garlic cloves, Italian seasoning, oregano, and crushed red pepper.
Pour in the wine and deglaze the pot with it.
Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.
Now add the canned tomatoes, the mashed-up roasted garlic, the pepper, and a bit of salt if you think it needs it.
Simmer for 25 minutes, or longer if you have the time – it certainly doesn’t hurt it.
Towards the last couple minutes, stir in the parsley and basil.
for the topping
Mix together the panko and olive oil with a fork.
Put into a small pan over medium-low heat and toast for 2 minutes, stirring often and watching it like a hawk.
Return it back to its bowl.
Mix in the lemon zest, parsley, and parmesan.
At some point you should also cook the pasta.
Serve the pasta topped with sauce and the parmesan-panko crust.
I know it has a lot of moving parts, but come on – it has a crust! And you don’t even have to bake it! It’s not a dinner-in-a-hurry type of thing, but some days you have time to do this – and then it makes a ton, so you can have leftovers on the days you don’t have the time.