For a quick and easy dinner we turned our leftover roasted tomato soup into a pasta sauce. We’re eating fresh spinach fettucini tossed with a sauce made of reduced leftover tomato soup, sauteed onions, crimini mushrooms, smoked sausage, and ribbons of basil. The whole dish was topped with fresh basil pesto and truffle oil, just for kicks.
A: this was totally one of those meals where I was “cleaning out the fridge” and only wanting to make something quick and easy. fortunately it turned out to be tasty too!
T: it was quite tasty. That tomato soup made a great sauce for the pasta. The sausage was pretty good too.
A: heheh the california “louisiana smoked sausage”? yeah. i thought it was pretty good too… except it tasted nothing like louisiana sausage. good, but nothing like louisiana smoked sausage!
T: very true. I always think of louisiana sausage as being more coarsely ground than this was. Every now and then you need a little bit of something hard and strange to let you know you’re eating an actual animal. That’s what louisiana sausage is all about. This sausage tasted like any other pork sausage that you would buy shrinkwrapped from the grocery store… with a touch of pepper added. That’s it.
A: hmm i’m pretty sure it was shrink wrapped and hanging in a mega-mart before it got to us! it was gifted to us on monday from your lovely mom and her mega generous roommate… who also gave us a really exciting whole de-boned stuffed chicken straight from cajun country! WOOO HOOO!
T: While it was generous of them to give us the meat, we should mention that the fake lousiana sausage was being given away to make room in the freezer for a massive quantity of actual louisiana sausage.
A: which we will get to consume! WOOO HOOOOOOO. man, i’m just worked up over all this glorious meat
T: calm yourself down, miss Amanda. I don’t want you to have a stroke now. Fan yourself off… you’re pink in the cheeks.
A: silly, i’m always pink in the cheeks! i’m rosey by nature but really, we should focus back on the pasta.
A: yessir! okay… i really dug the pesto and truffle oil mixed with the reduced tomato soup sauce and sauteed goodness. I think the splash of pesto really brightened the whole thing up.
T: yeah, the pesto was the real kicker. That and the sausage. You know, I think pesto is way under-utilized in the world considering how tasty it is. Whatcha think?
A: well it certainly is tasty! i dunno how much it’s utilized around the world… all i know is the here and now, my brother. the here and now.
T: well, I’m frequently a little confused about the here and now, but from my experience going to restaurants in various parts of this hemisphere, pesto has not been used all that frequently. Now, mayonaise, for example, is used all the time… and it sucks. But why ain’t pesto gettin no love?
A: well you see sweet cheeks, mayonaise just takes oil and eggs! no need for keeping it uber fresh and having to have herbs around! and btw: mayonaise doesn’t really suck. jarred mayo sucks and is filled with god knows what kind of preservatives.
T: ok. Mayo sucks. But that’s not the point. And what restaurants don’t have some damn herbs laying around? And, ummm… I’m really not too keen on “not so fresh” mayo, BTW. woman.
A: well hello mr. fiesty pants! who knew you were so impassioned about mayo!
T: everybody knows that mayo sucks.
A: woah dog! i think a huge number of people are gonna disagree with you on that!
T: and I care because… help me out here. Wait, I don’t. And they’re wrong. Moving on. I give this meal a 4.1/5. It was tasty, and although I liked the sausage (I like all sausage pretty much), it left something to be desired. The tomato sauce was still just as tasty as it was when it was a tomato soup a few days ago. I don’t know, it was good, but nothing extraordinary. What did you think?
A: I pretty much agree with you. I didn’t think it was extraordinary or anything, but i did think it was good all around. especially for the little effort and time that i had to put into it. I give it a 4.25/5. while i think pepperoni would have been a better sausage for the sauce, i didn’t think the smoked sausage left me really wanting. I was perfectly content to make it through the entire plate of pasta without much trouble!
T: yeah, it was certainly enjoyable the whole way through. Like a big vat of mayo, eh?
A: Ha. Freaking. Ha.
1 sm onion, sliced
8 crimini mushrooms, sliced
8 oz smoked sausage, in half-moons
10 basil leaves, chiffonade into ribbons
3 cups leftover roasted tomato soup or favorite jarred tomato sauce
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For Garnish (optional):
Preheat a large pan over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot add the sausage to the pan. Cook the sausage over medium high heat, tossing occationally, until the sides have caramelized and the fat has rendered out, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium. Add the sliced onions to the pan. Saute the onions for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Stir occasionally. Add the crimini mushrooms to the pan. Continue to saute the onions and mushrooms for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent.
Add the browned smoked sausage and leftover tomato soup to the pan. Stir to combine. Simmer the sauce over medium-low heat until the sauce has thickened, stirring frequently, for about 15-20 minutes. Once the sauce has thickened, add the basil ribbons. Stir to combine. Taste the sauce and season as necessary with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Toss the sauce with al dente pasta of your choice. Garnish with basil pesto and truffle oil. Enjoy!