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A gracious and good natured cab driver picked me up at 4:30 am from outside our condo in Sarasota – as prearranged – and dropped me off at the airport in plenty of time to catch my flight home.

I arrived back early in the morning – suffering from a little travelers disconcertment – the kids were all at school and my husband had left town for a conference – so I grounded myself with ordinary, mundane tasks that didn’t require much thought – unloading the dishwasher, laundry, and making dinner. I chose a simple and quick recipe for the kids and I to enjoy on my first night home.


1 tablespoon olive oil

19 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed

3/4 cup chopped sweet onion

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 (24-ounce) jar tomato and basil pasta sauce

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

cooked pasta and grated parmesan cheese to serve

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add sausage, onion, bell pepper and garlic, and cook, stirring and breaking up the sausage, until sausage is browned and vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir in pasta sauce and season with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to low, simmer for 15 minutes. Stir chopped basil into meat sauce.

Serve sauce over cooked pasta, garnish with parmesan cheese.


Recipe adapted from Southern Living, February 2017