Friday, 16 July 2010

Sausage and Tomato Pasta Sauce

Sausages are one of those things I adore. Strangely when I was younger I hated them. Probably due to the poor quality sausages that got foisted on us at school. Still to this day I can't abide low quality sausages. My favourite type of sausage has to be a toulouse sausage. This not only has normal pork sausagemeat but also has bacon, garlic, herbs... mmmm. All my favourite things.

Because of my slight obsession with sausages I tend to keep some in the freezer at all times. Thankfully they're also quite a crowd pleaser. Fed up of cooking sausages with onion gravy (Yes! I know that sounds like blasphemy...), I decided why not merge my other eternal crowd pleaser, pasta with tomato sauce, with my beloved sausages. Match made in heaven. So good that I now get requests for it, and not just from my tummy!

Sausage and Tomato Pasta (serves 2 hungry people, probably more if you ration out the sauce and give people a big helping of pasta)

Packet of high quality pork sausages
Half an onion
Olive oil
Tin of chopped tomatoes
A couple of chestnut mushrooms
Balsamic vinegar
Bay leaf

How to...

1. Soften sliced onions in a little bit of olive oil until they start to colour.

2. Add chopped up sausage bits. If you have fussy eaters take the sausage skins off as they can fall off in cooking and lurk in your sauce. I'm too lazy to do this. Even for my friends. Cook until the sausage starts to brown.

3. Add in mushrooms and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Don't add the garlic before now or it might burn and go bitter.

4. Bung in a tin of chopped tomatoes, some salt, pepper, oregano and bay leaf (preferably fresh but dried is ok).

5. Drizzle in a bit of balsamic vinegar. I feel any sauce with tinned tomatoes needs a bit of sweetness and a bit of acidity. You can really tell when this is left out.

6. Cook for at least half an hour on a low heat. If the sauce gets a bit dry just add more water. The secret to a tinned tomato sauce with good depth is making sure the tomatoes are cooked for a long time. If you don't have the time for this use delicious fresh tomatoes instead as they taste fabulous in minutes. If I have some overripe fresh tomatoes I add these in 10 mins before serving the sauce.

7. Serve with a mountain of al dente spaghetti and a shaving of parmesan.

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