Not a lot to say about this. It does what it says really. It’s not fancy. It’s not pretty. One of my Twitter buddies asked if it was made from leftovers. Haaaa!
BUT. It’s cheap and it’s tasty. If you take away the meatballs, the basic sauce can be used for all sorts – pasta sauce, pizza sauce, the base for a soup or stew. I buy sausage meat from the butcher but you can just snip up sausages or squeeze the meat out into little read made balls. Or any sort of mince will work, or even diced chicken. It’s pretty versatile.
1lb sausage meat
1 onion, chopped
Handful of frozen peas
Handful of cherry tomatoes
Tin of chopped tomatoes
1tsp dried sage
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
1tbs balsamic vinegar
1 glass wine
1 stock cube
1tbs tomato puree
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.
Roll the sausage meat into little balls and fry them off with the onion. If a lot of fat comes from the meat you might want to drain most of it away (but NOT down the sink – it’ll block your drain!).
Chuck in a big handful of frozen peas and the wine. Leave to simmer and reduce slightly.
After a few minutes, add the tinned tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, Worcester sauce, sugar, tomato puree, stock cube, black pepper and sage. Leave to simmer.
Once it’s thickened, you could just serve it there and then with some spaghetti. But I like it as a bake so…
while the sauce is simmering, boil your pasta. You want the pasta to be not quite cooked and your sauce a bit too runny. Its time in the oven will finish it off so that it’s just right.
I could say I used a mixture penne and fusilli coz it adds to the texture or summink. Truth is, it’s just coz I used the end of one pack and the start of another.
Incidentally, I only ever use wholewheat pasta. It looks a lot darker when it’s raw but once cooked you really can’t tell the difference.
Add the drained pasta to the sauce. Throw in the cherry tomatoes. I halved mine coz I find that if they’re whole the insides become hotter than the flaming pits of Mordor. Halving them counteracts it slightly.
Tear up the mozzarella and add that too. Give it all a bit of a stir and tip into an oven dish.
I sprinkled a handful of grated cheddar and some parmesan on top. There’s already mozzarella in the bake so leave the topping off if you want to make it a bit healthier.
It doesn’t need very long in the oven, only 15 minutes til the top is crispy.