This was the second time we used some local, breakfast-style, pork sausage to make meatballs. Soon, we will be out of the sausage we've had in our freezer since the Fall, so look forward to a lot more vegetarian recipes in the near future.
So, for all of you carnivores out there, don't forget that "breakfast sausage" is versatile and not just for patties that go on your biscuit. We've used it on pizza, in casseroles, in split pea soup, and lots of other goodies. It's all about dressing it up with the right herbs and seasonings...
Spaghetti with Pork Sausage Meatballs
For the meatballs:
1 lb. pork sausage
fennel seed, dried oregano, and dried basil to taste
3/4 cup bread crumbs
Mix all ingredients well in a bowl and form into meatballs about 1 to 1 and half inches in diameter. Cook in a shallow frying pan (with a little olive oil) on medium heat, turning often, until cooked through.
For the sauce:
1 large can crushed tomatoes (Muir Glen is my favorite!)
6-8 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 lb. mushrooms, chopped and sauteed
about a handful of chopped fresh basil
Saute the garlic in a little olive oil until it sweats. Add the tomatoes, basil, and black pepper and simmer. Toss the cooked mushrooms in right at the end. If you aren't using organic tomatoes, I suggest you also add about a teaspoon of sugar to your sauce.
Serve with organic whole wheat spaghetti, al dente. Top with grated parmesan. Swoon.