Jimmy Dean Pasta Supper

by Millie Bentley

Greetings. This week’s column is from when I was down in Palm Desert and Borrego Springs when my dear sister Bette and I cooked up a pasta supper using a recipe that we dug out from Mom’s old recipe box. I always think of Bette when I cook this dish. She died of emphysema and I really do miss her a lot. Anyway, this is a stick-to-your-ribs delicious dinner for any kind of cold day.

Jimmy Dean Pasta Supper

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 pounds Jimmy Dean hot pork sausage (or 3 of those 12 oz. rolls)

1 large onion, diced (about a cup)

1 carrot, chopped (about ½ cup)

½ sweet bell pepper (green, red –whatever you have), chopped

1 stalk celery, thinly sliced (about ½ cup)

2 bay leaves

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon dried basil (or 1 tablespoon fresh)

1 teaspoon dried rosemary (or 2 teaspoons fresh, minced)

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¾ cup apple juice

3 cups Marinara (no meat) spaghetti sauce (bottled or homemade)

1 pound penne pasta, or elbow macaroni or large (1/2 inch) shells

Parsley or basil sprigs for garnish (optional)

Heat oil in large pot. Add sausage, vegetables and spices. Sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are limp. Drain off excess fat as it accumulates. Add apple juice and Marinara sauce (I used some bottled sauce loaded with basil) and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile cook pasta according to package directions until al dente (firm, not soft). Drain and add to meat mixture, stirring to coat pasta and heat through. Remove bay leaves. Garnish with parsley or basil, if desired. Serves 8. Delicious with hot garlic bread and a plain green salad. Yummmm!!

Until next week, dear Reader, vaya con Dios.