Big flavors, healthy ingredients and dinner on the table in 30 minutes with bucatini pasta, spicy Italian chicken sausage and fresh oregano.
Bucatini is my favorite pasta shape. Slightly thicker than a spaghetti noodle with a hole running down the center, buco means hole in Italian. That little gap of air creates the best texture when you bite into it. The only challenge is not every grocery store carries this wonderful noodle so I buy several packages and keep them in my pantry.
I could eat Italian chicken sausage everyday, I love it that much. It’s lean, fragrant with herbs and it cooks quickly. It also does the majority of the flavor work to whatever you cook it with. For this recipe, I prefer spicy for the bold flavor it contributes but you could also use mild. I’m also partial to Isernios brand Italian sausage available at many grocery stores here in the Northwest.
And finally, oregano! For years I overlooked using fresh oregano as the main herb in cooking because I was so enamored with basil. Then my Italian neighbor started giving me large bunches of it from his garden and I was instantly won over. Oregano has a strong, pleasantly pungent flavor with the ability to quickly liven up a sauce. It’s from the mint family and also related to marjoram and thyme.
This is the kind of recipe I’m happy to have waiting for me at the other end of a workday or when I’ve just been too busy to give dinner a thought. I can count on it to go together quickly and yet it delivers the flavor of something that has taken longer than 30 minutes to cook.
- 4 spicy Italian chicken sausages (about 1 pound)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 28 oz canned or carton diced or crushed tomatoes (see note)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 8 oz bucatini pasta
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat; remove sausage from casing and add to oil breaking into bite size pieces and cook until browned.
- Push sausage to one side of skillet and add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil; add onions and garlic and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir onions and sausage together.
- Add tomatoes and oregano, adjust heat to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook bucatini in a large pot of boiling, salted water according to package directions for length of time; drain.
- Serve sauce over bucatini noodles.