Thursday, February 14, 2019

Sausage Spaghetti Sauce over Zoodles

While my husband I still enjoy a great pasta dish now and then, we often switch up the pasta itself for spiralized zucchini (zoodles!), not only to reduce the carb load, but because they taste great!  Both of us are 'pasta is the carrier for saucy goodness' people, so this really works for us.

This sauce recipe has been how I do it for years - make up the sauce a couple hours before dinner, zoodle up the zucchini in just a couple minutes and chop up those little zucchini tubes left behind and toss them in the sauce.  The actual labor is minimal, and this sauce freezes beautifully, so this is an excellent weeknight meal.

I like to keep those little four-packs of individual servings of wine in my pantry for cooking - a pack of red and a pack of white gives me just enough to add a bottle to a meal without having to commit to drinking the rest of a full bottle that night.  If you enjoy wine often, boxed wine also let's you draw a bit for cooking without the rest of a bottle going stale.

Heads up - this sauce is flavorful and on the spicy side!  If you prefer a more mild taste, reduce or leave out the red pepper flakes and use sweet Italian sausage in place of the Spicy Italian sausage.

Italian Sausage Spaghetti Sauce over Zoodles
serves 6

1-2 zucchinis per person, spiralized
2 Tblsp. olive oil
1 lb. spicy Italian sausage
1 onion, minced
1 pkg sliced mushrooms
1/3 cup of red wine
1 Tblsp minced garlic
1 can sliced black olives
1 large can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 large can tomato paste
2 cups beef broth
2 Tblsp. Italian seasoning blend
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

Remove sausage from casings and brown.  Add onions and mushrooms, and cook until softened.

Add garlic and cook just until fragrant.

Add wine, and cook until wine is reduced.

Add tomatoes, paste, broth, olives and seasonings, stirring to combine and incorporate the paste. Bring to boil, then reduce and simmer on medium low for at least an hour - two if you have the time.

Taste about half way through, and adjust seasonings as needed.  If sauce gets too thick before you're ready for it, add some water or broth and let it continue simmering.

Spiralize the zucchini a few minutes before serving.  Chop the spirals a bit (otherwise, they're one long noodle strand) and divide into dinner bowls. Dice any unused zucchini bits and toss them in a pot - they'll cook in just a few minutes.

Top the zucchini noodles with the sauce - the heat from the sauce will soften the zucchini just slightly, so that they are al dente.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

I am sharing this with the Improve Cooking Challenge, a fun two-ingredient cooking challenge that posts on the 2nd Thursday of each month.  This month's challenge was Wine & Italian Seasoning.

 Check out what the other bloggers have made!

Improv Cooking Challenge: February 2019

Ingredients: Wine and Italian Seasoning

Lemon Caper Italian Chicken by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
Italian Sausage Marinara with Penne by Jolene's Recipe Journal
Pasta in White Wine Herb Sauce by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Sausage Spaghetti Sauce Over Zoodles by Reviews, Chews & How-Tos

The #ImprovCookingChallenge is a monthly blogging event where two ingredients are assigned to a month. Bloggers can make any recipe they like as long as it features the two ingredients.

If you are a blogger and would like to join us, please visit our Facebook page.You can also read more about the event on our our home page.  If you’d like to see previous creations, check out our Pinterest board.


  1. This looks like a delicious bowl of goodness! Hope you are having a good week and staying warm. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday!
    Miz Helen

  2. Snow day today so staying good and warm watching the snow ploughs roll by!

  3. Thanks for your sharing. Hope you can contribute more quality posts to this page. Redspider dubizzle clone  is about to tell you that thanks for sharing it.