Pasta with meatballs is a great dish, but making and browning meatballs from scratch takes time. This recipe from an October 2011 LCBO Food and Drink newspaper insert takes a shortcut by using sliced hot Italian sausages instead of meatballs. The original recipe suggested browning the sausages and then slicing them. Instead, I cooked the sausages in boiling water for 5 minutes to render some of the fat, then sliced them and browned them. I used canned crushed tomatoes, which made a very thick sauce. If you make this recipe, I suggest you use canned whole tomatoes and puree them in your blender or food processor.

Simmer tomato sauce with garlic and basil

Add baby spinach leaves just before tossing with the cooked linguine

To avoid additives and preservatives in this recipe, use all-natural sausages and tomatoes, olives and Parmesan that does not contain colour, flavour or other artificial ingredients.

Linguine with Sausages in Tomato Sauce


3 tbsp olive oil

4 hot Italian sausages

1 tbsp chopped garlic

5 cups canned tomatoes pureed

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

1 lb linguine

2 tbsp sliced green olives

2 green peppers, thinly sliced

4 oz fresh baby spinach leaves

Grated Parmesan cheese


Boil sausages in water for 5 minutes to render fat. Slice into bite-sized pieces. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in skillet on medium heat. Add sausages and cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add remaining olive oil and stir in garlic. Add pureed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer 10 minutes or until thickened slightly. Season with salt, pepper and basil.

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add linguine and cook until al dente, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile stir olives green peppers and sliced sausages into sauce. Cook 10 minutes longer or until green peppers are slightly crisp.

Drain pasta when cooked. Add spinach leaves to sauce and toss with pasta. Serve with Parmesan cheese. Serves 4.

Adapted from Food and Drink October 2011 newspaper insert