Sausage Pasta


This pasta dish sealed the deal on love


Heather & Kelli

Kelli and Heather have been married for over four years and have been together for seven. Their love story first begins on a roller rink in Minneapolis.

“Heather and I met playing roller derby here in Minneapolis with the North Star roller girls,” Kelli recalled. She asked Heather to go out on New Year’s Eve, and the rest is history.

When they started dating, Heather invited Kelli over for a home cooked meal. She made sausage pasta, a meal that holds special significance for Heather’s family. The dish was her brother Rick’s invention, and one he cooked for her often after their mother passed away.

“Rick would make it and it was very comforting and it made it feel like a family thing,” Heather explained. The dish quickly won Kelli’s heart as well, and it even made an appearance at their rehearsal dinner before their wedding.

“We make it every year for our anniversary,” Heather said. “That is always the recipe she requests.” The pasta dish features a red-wine tomato sauce, and, of course, lots of sausage.

For both Kelli and Heather, sharing food is an expression of love. Sharing a family recipe makes it all the more special.

“It’s not just, here, I made dinner. Some nights it’s sort of like, I made dinner for you because I love you,” Kelli explained. “I want you to have good and delicious and interesting food.”

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Heather's Sausage Pasta


  • 1 large kielbasa
  • 2-3 roma tomatoes
  • 4+ cloves garlic
  • 4 green onions
  • 2 cups red wine bold and dark wines work best
  • 2, 15 oz cans tomato sauce
  • tsp liquid smoke optional
  • pasta of your choice


  • Slice kielbasa into rounds aprox 1/4" thick or less. Put Kielbasa into a large pot on medium high heat. It is VERY important that some pieces of kielbasa are blackened. Stir occasionally to assure even cooking. Turn heat down to medium after kielbasa is properly cooked; aprox 10 minutes.
  • While kielbasa cooks, remove skins from garlic and mince. Quarter, seed, and dice tomatoes into half inch pieces. Thinly slice green onions, separating the green from the white portions.
  • Once the pot has been at medium for 4 minutes, add the minced garlic and let it cook until aromatic and give it a good stir to incorporate it into the kielbasa.
  • Turn the heat back up to medium high and add the red wine. Allow the wine to come to a boil for aprox 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato sauce, stir to combine. The sauce should be a burgundy color (not tomato red). Add more wine if you think the color is off.
  • Immediately add the diced tomatoes and the liquid smoke, if using. Add salt and pepper to taste, keeping in mind the kielbasa will already add saltiness to the dish.
  • Allow to cook uncovered on medium high for about 30 minutes until the sauce is thick and tomatoes have broken down. (This will splatter everywhere and make a mess of things. It's worth it!) Stir occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions. Set aside.
  • After the sauce has cooked for about 10 minutes, add the white green onion bits.
  • Serve on top of pasta. Garnish with the green onions tops!
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Region: North America
Keyword: Comfort food


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