One evening in April of 2011 I was watching Law & Order SVU. I was captivated/grossed out/disturbed (per usual) at the episode this evening. But not because of the crime or violence but because of the meat factory they were investigating. I kid you not, it was the most disgusting episode of SVU I had ever seen. They showed this factory that was so dirty and, okay I just can’t even put it into words. The point is: since then I have not eaten any red meat. Bet you didn’t think SVU could impact a life in such a way, right?
So, I did some investigating on the whole vegetarian thing… I was like “Kk, that’s not gonna work.” So I stumbled upon the ovotarian lifestyle and thought to myself, “Oh, this is great. People who only eat animals that lay eggs.” To make a long story short- I was wrong. Somehow, I initially interpreted the definition of an “ovotarian” incorrectly. Apparently, they eat ONLY eggs and veggies.
However, I have committed to my egg-laying-animal eating lifestyle despite my misunderstanding. And honestly, it’s been rather easy. Basically I eat chicken, fish, or turkey. Over the past year and few months I have tried A LOT of new things and even dabbled in the vegetarian lifestyle for a couple months. I’ve attempted to expand my dietary limitations in order to try new things and my “ovotarian” 😉 lifestyle has helped me to do so. I made this dish for the first time yesterday and it was soooooo good. I think the main place that I miss eating red meat is in Italian food (e.g., lasagna, bolognese sauce, etc.). However, this little number satisfied my Italian cravings quite well. DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THE CHICKEN SAUSAGE. I promise it’s good… It really does taste like the regular stuff. However, if you just can’t get past the chicken, you can use whatever sausage you like.
Chicken Sausage with Spicy Marinara
Feeds 6-8 people
4-5 Italian chicken sausage links, sliced in 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped (add more or less or none at all- your preference)
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
2 tbs. Italian seasoning
2 tbs. dried Oregano
2-3 tsp. red pepper flakes (adjust to how spicy you like it… I did 3 tsp because I like mine spicy)
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1 tbs granulated sugar
In a large saute pan, brown the chicken sausage on both sides on medium heat. This should take 8-10 minutes (the sausage is already cooked so you just want to get that yummy brown goodness on it and heat it through). Once you have browned the sausage, remove it from the pan and put it on a plate to add to the sauce later.
Put the pan back on the stove-top and increase the heat to medium-high and heat up the olive oil for about a 30 seconds. Then. add the chopped onions and salt. You want to saute the onions for about 8-9 minutes, until they are translucent. Then, add the chopped tomatoes and crushed tomatoes, stir until combined. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
Finally, add the remaining spices and the sugar and stir so that it’s well incorporated. Toss in the sausage (well don’t really toss it, you’d be covered in marinara sauce). Let the sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes on low heat.
Serve with your choice of pasta and enjoy!