This veggie-loaded Italian sausage pasta sauce has become a favorite in our family! It tastes like it has simmered all day, but it comes together in less than an hour!
1 yellow or white onion, peeled and chopped
4 carrots, peeled and diced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1/2 cup dry red wine OR 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar + 1/2 cup water from the cooked pasta
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 heaping teaspoon beef or chicken soup base
5 ounces baby spinach
16 ounces spaghetti or linguine
Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. When hot, add the onions, carrots, and garlic and cook until softened (about 5 minutes). Add the mushrooms and cook until tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add the sausage to the pan, breaking it up into small pieces, and cook until browned.
Add the wine to the pan and scrape off any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until about half of the wine has evaporated (if using red wine vinegar, add the vinegar with the tomatoes and then add the starchy pasta water as needed near the end). Add the tomatoes and chicken or beef base. Bring to a simmer and then lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until desired thickness is reached.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When boiling, add pasta and cook according to package directions. When the pasta is done cooking, reserve 1/2-1 cup of the pasta water and drain the rest. Lightly drizzle the pasta with olive oil and sprinkle with a little kosher salt.
When the sauce has reached the desired consistency, add the spinach. If the sauce is too thick, add a little of the reserved pasta water (if you don’t need it, throw it away.) Divide the pasta between plates and top with the sauce and parmesan cheese.