What could be better, on a weeknight after a long day at work, than a meal which essentially cooks itself? After some brief browning of sausage meat, all the effort this meal involves is throwing it (or placing gently, whichever suits) all in a pan, putting a lid on and returning 15 minutes later for a comforting, oozy pasta dish.
Today, the weather has been the sort that makes me crave pasta. Although it was a comparatively warm start, it was raining buckets and I arrived at work sodden after my miserable 25 minute walk. By the time I left work, the weather couldn’t have been more different (but not in a good way) – it was clear and bright but with an icy, biting wind. Brrr!
So this meal was just what was needed – easy, tasty and like a nice warm hug.
You could easily make this dish vegetarian by swapping the sausages for porcini mushrooms, and using veg stock rather than chicken stock. You should also play around with the type of pasta you use; I went for caserecce which hubby described as “short bits of spaghetti making out”. It sucked the juice up nicely, which was the main thing. Use whatever type you like – be creative – use a shape you’d never heard of before!
This will serve 6 and takes 30 minutes to make.
One Pot Sausage Pasta Bake
1 tbsp olive oil
4 good quality sausages
250g chestnut mushrooms
2 garlic cloves
1 small glass red wine
2 x 400g tins whole plum/cherry tomatoes
600ml chicken stock
400g dried pasta
20g grated parmesan
1 handful basil leaves
1. Remove the casings from the sausage meat and put the meat in a large casserole dish with the olive oil. Cook over a medium heat until starting to brown, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat.
2. Add the chopped onion and sliced mushrooms, cook for a further 2 minutes then add the sliced garlic. Tip in the wine and allow to boil down for 2 minutes.
3. Stir in the tomatoes (and juice) and stock. Being to the boil, then add the pasta. Turn the heat down to low, put a lid on and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the pasta is just cooked.
4. Turn the heat off, stir through the grated parmesan and torn basil leaves, then tear up the mozzarella and dot over the top of the dish. Put the lid back on for 3-4 minutes until the mozzarella has melted. Enjoy!