Neo-Italian gravy

8 oz (sweet or hot) Italian sausage
3 cloves garlic
white wine for deglazing
28 oz can whole tomatoes
1 Tbl tomato paste
1-2 Tsp white sugar or honey
3 Tbl Romano cheese
1/4 Tsp nutmeg
red pepper flakes or Tabasco sauce
black pepper
olive oil
Slice the garlic cloves thickly. Crush the whole tomatoes. In a stock pot, add 2 Tbl olive oil and brown the sausage on all sides. Remove the sausage and partially de-grease the pan. Add the garlic slices and saute them until they are a light golden-brown. Deglaze the pan with wine. Reduce the wine to a tight glaze. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, nutmeg and sugar. Stir. Add red pepper flakes to taste. Increase the flame to medium. Sprinkle in the Romano cheese. Stir. Bring the contents to a "hard" boil. Partially cover the pot with a lid. Reduce the flame. Simmer slowly for 1 hour. Periodically, stir the pot and skim whatever scum or grease rise to the surface.

Return the sausage to the pan. Simmer partially covered for 1 - 1 1/2 hours. If desired, remove the garlic cloves. Adjust the seasoning with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Serve the sauce and sausage over pasta (bucatini preferred) with tons of Romano cheese.

To add richness and thickness to the gravy, 2 Tbl of heavy cream may be poured into the sauce 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time. 3-4 fresh tomatoes may be substituted for the canned. If using fresh, peel, de-seed and crush them.