Pasta with Turkish Sausage (Sucuklu Makarna)

My comfort food cravings usually appear when my fridge is almost empty and need to use up the food I have on hand. Yesterday after running around all day I started thinking about what to have for our dinner. Eating out was out of the question as I am sick and tired of it lately. When I walked in the kitchen, both the long and short pasta in the clear, glass containers were staring at me from the other side of the counter. Then I recalled seeing Turkish sausage in my freezer earlier in the morning and the milk in the fridge that needed to be used in a couple days. Albeit, it was difficult to decide whether I should cook long or short pasta, I went with the short penne pasta. In my head, I already had created the taste I wanted to acquire for the pasta and it worked perfectly. It was comforting and filling and scrumptious. A bowl of salad and a side of plain yogurt accompanied it very well.

For the Sauce:

1 ½ cups Turkish sausage (cubed)
1 cup milk
4 small tomatoes
1 clove of garlic (chopped finely)
½ of medium onion (chopped finely)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp red pepper paste
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt

For Boiling the Pasta:

1 box Penne Rigate pasta (the pasta that is shaped like a cylinder and cut diagonally)
1 tsp oil
1 tsp salt

In a small pot, boil water for the tomatoes. Place tomatoes and boil for 2 minutes. Turn the heat off. Keep tomatoes in the hot water for 3-4 minutes with lid closed until the tomatoes are soft. Cool and skin the tomatoes. With a heavy fork, roughly smash the tomatoes. The tomato pieces will stay in large chunks. Set aside. If raw tomatoes are used for the sauce, the sauce cooking time will be longer.

In a large pot, boil water. Add pasta to boiling water and follow cooking directions. Usually this kind of pasta requires about 12-13 minutes. Add a little of oil and a pinch of salt so that the pasta does not stick together while cooking. Drain the pasta and set aside.

Heat olive oil on medium heat, in a pot. Add sausage and sauté for 1 minute. Add garlic and onions and sauté for about 2 minutes or until transparent. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, red pepper paste, milk, salt and black pepper. Stir the ingredients for a minute and close lid. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Add the drained pasta over the sauce and stir. Keep on heat for two minutes and serve hot. If preferred, a favorite cheese can be sprinkled on the pasta. Garnish with pickles.