1 lb spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
1 lb mushrooms, sliced (I generally use creminis)
1 onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, pureed
Wine or stock for deglazing
1 tsp fennel, freshly ground (optional)
2 cans tomato sauce
2 cans diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh basil chiffonade (the more the better)
Put a fairly big pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and brown, tearing apart sausage into small pieces with a spatula (or two). When cooked, remove from pot. Don’t get rid of the fat.
Add the mushrooms and some salt to the fat in the pot. Saute and remove from pan when browned.
If the pan’s looking dry, add a little bit of olive oil. Add the diced onion and saute until softened. Then, add the chopped garlic and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Deglaze the pan with the wine or stock and scrape up the fond.
Return the sausage and mushrooms to the pan. Add the cans of tomato sauce and drained diced tomatoes.
Season with the cayenne pepper, dried oregano, fennel (optional), and salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer for 15 minutes to an hour.
At the very end of cooking, add the pureed garlic and the basil chiffonade.