Spicy Pasta Sauce

Winter comfort food to me is generally hot and spicy. True, I love a good baked mac and cheese as much as the next person, but eating too much hearty, cheesy food bores my palate, leads me to overeat, and just doesn’t excite me.

My husband, on the other hand, grew up in Ireland, where as he says, ketchup is considered spicy. Over the years, he has built up not just an impressive tolerance for spice, but a love for it. Just last Friday, he was calling me weak when our takeaway Vindaloo made me sweat.


Marathon training has me craving comfort food in the form of carbs as well as satisfying protein, so I recently whipped up a super simple meat sauce to coat ribbons of fettuccini.

I started with my veggies:

2 cups of small, sweet peppers

1 yellow onion

6 cloves of garlic


Instead of chopping these by hand, I pureed them. I really wanted them to kind of disappear into the sauce rather than being chunks of veggies. I was all about the meat in this dish, but I know I need my veggies too.


For this meat sauce, I used a package of hot Italian turkey sausage, removed from the casing and broken up, cooked in a little bit of olive oil and crushed red pepper to add more heat.


It smelled amazing.


Once the sausage was cooked, I poured in a can of crushed tomatoes and added a sprinkle of salt, a few pinches of dried basil, a dash of garlic powder and a pinch of oregano. I also added a splash of red wine from an open bottle, stirred it all up, and let it bubble away on the lowest heat while I worked.


I checked on the sauce over the course of about two hours, dipping pieces of bread in for a taste. When we were little, if my mom was making her amazing homemade sauce, she would always cut up bread for us and give us little bowls of sauce after school. I can still taste it, and it is still one of my favorite ways to eat sauce.

I couldn’t even wait for my husband to get for dinner to eat. I had one bowl before he got home and another with him. This sauce was easy, incredibly flavorful, and made for a pretty balanced meal.

I am always looking for easy, hearty meals to make for after training runs when I am ravenous and craving comfort. What are your favorites? Feel free to share links!

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Tags: dinner, Food, pasta, recipe, sauce, turkey

  1. Michelle’s avatar

    This sauce looks so comforting. I bet it made your kitchen smell amazing while it was simmering!


  2. Jessica’s avatar

    I have a similar basic spaghetti sauce recipe, and I love how you can throw in something and change it so much. I will have to throw in some sweet peppers soon. And I think pureeing is a great idea. I’ll give it a try soon!


    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      It’s a great way to hide veggies! As much as I love them, sometimes you just want meat sauce. This way you get a little bit of both!


    2. Daisy’s avatar

      We recently did the same thing but made a hearty meat sauce in the slow cooker. I know what you mean about the constant dipping of bread in for a taste ;)


    3. Emily @ A Cambridge Story’s avatar

      Christopher would love this sauce!! I made a tomato soup with white beans recently that thickened to a nice hearty sauce over the week. So yummy!


    4. Erica @ In and Around Town’s avatar

      This looks totally up my alley – spicy sausage sauce, so delicious! The bread is a must to accompany this dish!


    5. Michelle Collins’s avatar

      I love making dishes packed with beans, vegetables and warm spices this time of year. They’re always flavorful, healthy and satisfying!


    6. Megan’s avatar

      I don’t know if I’ve ever had turkey sausage… a less spicy version sounds amazing to me!


    7. Elizabeth’s avatar

      The bread with warm sauce as an after school snack sounds heavenly


    8. Charley's Kitchen’s avatar

      This looks lovely, looking forward to trying it. My favourite pasta dish can be found here… charleysbrightonkitchen.blogspot.co.uk


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