One of my favourite summer meals, right here! Pasta is always a comfort food for me, and this is my mom’s homemade recipe. I have memories since she invented it in high school of sitting on the porch and having dinner with my family, while the birds chirp around us and the sun gives off that evening golden light. Give me a classic Bolognese in the winter, but in the summer, this is all I want – super fresh, a little spicy, and so delicious.
Hi, blog readers, who I appreciate oh-so-much! I missed posting last week for the first time ever, but oh wow it’s been a whirlwind! I am back home in Quebec now, after a winter spent out west in the Canadian Rockies, skiing, enjoying the big mountains and life to its fullest extent. It’s been a busy week of driving across the country, family visits, and unpacking a whole lot of gear!
Ryan and I don’t have jobs that anchor us in one spot, what with being professional athletes, nor do we currently have kids, so we figured why not take advantage. The winter training out in the big mountains (and big snow!) was soooo fun. I sure have a good cardio base built for the season to come, as it’s so easy to put in long days when you’re having fun in a beautiful new place. Now it’s time to start building upon that base, and incorporating more speed work in to my training to sharpen up for the season to come. I slowly started doing that about a month ago, and now I’m putting in some final key workouts (shorter race simulations, V02 max), because my first race is in only three weeks! Kicking things off with Hochkonig Skyrace in Austria, followed by Mountain Running World Championships the next weekend, where I’ll be representing Canada. Just straight off the high-diving board in to the deep end, this year lol!
Anyways, back to food-related things. I love savoury food in the winter, but in the summer I want to take advantage of all the fresh foods available! This sauce is made with loads of fresh tomatoes, colourful red and yellow peppers, garden herbs and sun dried tomatoes. My mom invented this recipe back when I was in high school with some ingredients kicking around in the fridge, and I never let her stop making it.
We all know pasta is a great pre-race food or recovery food. I do eat this before races, though I’ll make it a bit less spicy, and I’ll swap the hot Italian sausage for chicken. Still delicious, but not quite the same… that hot Italian sausage is key to the flavour of this pasta dish! It gives you carbs you need to get your engine fired up for race day, and it’s good to incorporate some protein pre-race as well. Outside of racing, I’ll make this probably once a month all summer long, and I like to make enough to have leftovers for dinner the following night, too! I’ll serve it with a “salad” or whatever fresh veggies I have laying around, like sliced cucumber or tomato, some torn basil on top, salt and pepper and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. It puts me solidly in my happy place.
Mom made me this "cookbook" before I went to university! She printed or wrote out all my favourite recipes.
This is the original Summer Sausage Pasta recipe by mom :)
Mumzy's Summer Sausage Pasta
Servings: 4 hungry athlete portions
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
1 package hot Italian sausages
1 red onion
1 yellow pepper
3 large tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
1 large handful of basil
2 tsp fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes, or to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 package of pasta of your choice. I always use linguine or pappardelle!
Start by chopping your onion, pepper, and tomatoes. Chop your garlic, basil and oregano, and set them aside on a separate plate to add to your sauce later. Use a serrated knife to slice your sausages in to thin rounds, and set it aside in a separate bowl.
Set a large fry pan on the stove on medium heat. Open your jar of sun dried tomatoes, and pour some of the oil in your fry pan to coat the pan. Once it has some time to heat up, stir in your sausage meat to cook. Once it's cooked through, remove it from the pan and set it aside until later.
To your pan, add your onion and pepper. Let these cook for five minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent. Add your tomatoes to the pan, and put a lid over the top to prevent the moisture from evaporating. Let these cook down for about five minutes, until it looks like a sauce! In the meantime, put a large pot of water on to boil your pasta.
To your sauce, add the 1 tsp of sugar... fresh tomatoes can have a slight bitter taste when cooked, and the sugar helps to counter that (a mom trick!). Add your garlic, sun dried tomatoes, hot pepper flakes, salt, and sausages back to the pan. Mix until combined. Reduce the heat to low, and put the lid back over the pan.
Your pasta water should be boiling! Add your pasta, and set a timer for the cooking time indicated on your packaging.
Finally, add your fresh basil and oregano to your pasta sauce. Take a ladle or 1/2 cup full of pasta water, and scoop it in to your sauce to thin it a bit. Give the sauce a taste! Add salt and pepper bit by bit until your taste buds say it's just right for you.
Once your pasta is cooked, strain it. Serve it up! Spoon your desired amount of pasta in to bowls, and ladle the sauce over top. Garnish with more fresh basil, hot pepper flakes, and parmesan cheese if you want!