Sausage,Zucchini, Rosemary and Tomato Sauce. Umbria in a dish.

While I was working as a travel agent in Perugia, Italy, lunch breaks were spent at the nearby “Caffe’ Perusia”. Their spread of Pastas for lunch was quite impressive. Also was impressive that I ate pasta every day and I was half the size I’m today. But that is another story.

Stuffed Pasta Shells

Anyway, my favorite pasta was the one with Sausage, Rosemary, Zucchini and a creamy tomato sauce. So simple, yet so satisfying and delicious. Just a plate of pasta, an espresso and I was ready for the rest of my work day to begin.

Once I moved to Oregon, I decided I could not live without that sauce. Seriously.

Stuffed Pasta Shells


I started making my own, and here is what I found out, quoting my friend Kathleen who expressed it perfectly:

Starting with good sausage is key, and find the freshest rosemary you can (since it’s going to fall apart into the sauce, use only the softer tips). Even though the tomatoes play a supporting role, if they’re not good tomatoes, you’ll know.  

In fact, one of the unspoken rules of cooking is that the quality of the sauce  is directly proportional to the quality of its ingredients. Also, the lesser the ingredients, the harder to camouflage the flavors …

Well, let’s get started, and you will see what I mean when I say that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Stuffed Pasta Shells

Sausage, Zucchini and Rosemary Tomato sauce

Level: easy

Time : 3 hours (like a Ragu but not quite)


1/2 onion, chopped small
3 Cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter
3/4 – 1 pound good sausage, ground (no fennel)
1/2 cup white wine
2 small to medium zucchini, grated
4 tips fresh rosemary, each about 3″ long
1 28 ounce can Italian tomatoes
1/2 cup cream
1 pound hearty pasta, such as MOSTACCIOLI or Ziti

Stuffed Pasta Shells


In a large skilled saute’ the onion and garlic with the olive oil and butter. When the onion has become translucent and your garlic is fragrant, add the zucchini and the rosemary. Cook on low until the zucchini is tender. Taste for salt.

Meanwhile in a frying pan, cook the sausage until browned. Deglaze with wine, and reserve.

When the zucchini are tender, add the cooked sausage to the pan and the tomatoes.

Adjust for salt and pepper.

Cook the sauce uncovered for about 1 hour, until thick. Add the cream. Taste again for salt.

Let simmer on low for 30 more minutes until the pasta is cooked. Drain the pasta and let it cool.

Stuffed Pasta Shells

DO NOT RINSE the pasta with COLD WATER. Or any water. Coat the pasta with a splash of Olive oil it you see it gets sticky.

Pre heat oven to 350F

Fill each shell with enough meat sauce to your liking. (I like my shells pretty full!!)

Arrange the filled shells in a baking dish.

Stuffed Pasta Shells

Top with cheese or your favorite cheese sauce.

Stuffed Pasta Shells

Cover in foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350F.

Remove the foil and finish baking until golden and crisp.

Stuffed Pasta Shells



Pubblicato da growingupitalian

Salve! Vivo tra due mondi, ma con i piedi per terra. E' un lusso poter scegliere il meglio di entrambi. La vita mi ha fatto questo regalo, e lo voglio condividere con Voi!! Sono nata negli anni 60 in Italia. Il mondo della televisione in Bianco e Nero, senza cibi GMO, senza smart phones. La mia infanzia e' stata costellata di persone incredibili e memorie indelebili della mia famiglia. Ora, 50 anni dopo e 10 mila km di distanza apparte, tutte queste memorie hanno contribuito ad arricchire la mia vita ..dopotutto, una ragazza puo' lasciare l'Italia, ma l'Italia non lasciam mai le sue ragazze!.Hello all. I live in between two worlds (USA and Italy) but I'm really grounded. I believe it's a luxury to be able to pick and choose the best of both. I've been given that gift and I'm sharing it with you. I was born in the 60's in Italy. Black and White pictures, no GMO, no tablets, no computers or cell phones. My childhood was starred by people and memories. It sure takes a village to raise a child...and a great family. I was blessed to have all of the above. Now, fast forward 50 years, 10,000 kilometers away. My life is richer than ever because of my upbringing. I have stories...lots of stories I will share with you. Afterall, A GIRL might leave Italy, but Italy NEVER leaves the girl!

Lascia un commento

Il tuo indirizzo email non sarà pubblicato.

Questo sito usa Akismet per ridurre lo spam. Scopri come i tuoi dati vengono elaborati.