Sausage & Cheddar Balls w/Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (or puree)
1 14.5 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 lb. ground sweet Italian sausage
1/2 c. panko crumbs
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 c. Pasta (use a hearty pasta, like Radiatore, Rigatoni or Rotelle)
In a large saucepan, heat the crushed tomatoes, fire roasted tomatoes, brown sugar, salt & pepper (per taste) over medium/low heat. Let simmer while preparing the sausage balls.
Combine sausage, panko, Parmesan, red pepper flakes, egg, cheddar cheese, salt & pepper. Mix until just blended. Roll into balls and add to saucepan. Cover and simmer 30 - 45 minutes, until sausage is cooked through.
While sausage balls are cooking, make pasta. Cook until ALMOST al dente. The pasta is going to absorb the sauce and soften. (...and you don't want mushy pasta!!)
When sausage is thoroughly cooked, add pasta to pot and carefully stir.
Viola! Dinner is served.