Vanilla-Tinged Arrabbiata Sauce
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ pound spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
1 finely diced yellow onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon celery salt
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
1 12-ounce can tomato paste
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepot over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until brown and crumbly, stirring constantly. Remove the sausage to a paper- towel-lined plate. Set aside. Add the onion to the pan drippings and sauté until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low. Add the sausage, celery salt, basil, oregano, bay leaf, sugar, vanilla extract, salt and pepper. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Simmer, partially covered, for 2 hours to blend the flavors, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn. Remove the bay leaf. Serve over your favorite pasta, prepared al dente.
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