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Baking Italian Tomato Sauce And Enjoying Jimmy's At Home

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Jimmy's is one of the first iconic brands I encountered when moving to Dallas. While I've seen their sausage on many menus, my favorite way to enjoy the DiCarlo's links is at home on a Sunday with a bottle of red wine and a mountain of spaghetti. If my story in this week's issue inspires your own trip to Jimmy's, grab a pound or two of spicy Italian to take home and enjoy like so:

Pick your favorite Italian tomato sauce recipe. Any will work and you likely already have a favorite, so I'm not going to try to force something new on you. Follow the directions and work in a heavy cast iron dutch oven. When you get to the boring part, the part where they tell you to stir and simmer for hours, throw the whole pot, covered with a lid, in an oven preheated to 350 degrees.

Baking your sauce, instead of simmering it on the stove, takes a little longer (you'll need to add to the cooking time by up to an hour) but the heat is applied much more evenly this way. Instead of searing heat coming from only the bottom of the pan, it's applied more gently and from every angle. The sauce will reduce down more slowly and there's absolutely no chance it will scorch on the bottom of the pan. Just toss it in the oven and wait -- no stirring required.

When the sauce is ready, put it back on your stove and brown some sausage in a second pan. When they have sufficient color, float the sausages in the sauce and simmer very gently till done. Cook up some pasta, toss it in the sauce, top the results with the links of sausage and enjoy one of Dallas' best local ingredients.

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.