This is another of my favourite midweek meals because it is so easy and quick and we usually have all the necessary ingredients in the house even if the fridge is looking a bit bare. It developed from an Italian recipe I picked up in Tuscany which uses white wine, lemon and sage instead of tomatoes, but one evening I had no wine or lemon (it was a sad evening) so I decided to improvise and the resulting dish has been a favorite ever since. I still make the authentic Italian version when I have some leftover white wine to use, but that doesn’t often happen! To make that version, simply replace the tomatoes with white wine, the chilli with grated lemon zest, and the paprika with sage. Make sure you add the lemon a little at a time, so as not to overdo it!
It can be adapted to whatever veg you have to use up, though peppers go quite well in this, and to whatever heat level you prefer by adjusting the level of chilli so it can be child friendly too. Basically a helpful backup to have on hand, but equally makes a decent supper for friends too, maybe with some tomato bruschetta to start and a light pudding to follow, such as sorbet or something fruity. Goes great with red wine too of course!
Midweek Meals: Spicy Sausage Pasta
- 1 pack of pork sausages (8 approx)
- Half a red onion
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 tins chopped tomatoes (400g each)
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp chilli (or to taste)
- 2 handfuls of veg (sliced peppers go particularly well)
- Finely dice half a red onion and add it to the pan with some FryLight spray or oil to brown. Remove the skin from the sausages and add to the pan.
- Put the kettle on to boil. Break up the sausages with a wooden spoon as they cook, so you end up with small chunks like mincemeat. When they are starting to brown, add the paprika and garlic and stir in, followed by the chopped tomatoes. Allow to come to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer. If your veg is fresh, add it to the pan at this point to cook. If frozen, add five minutes before the end (unless carrots or other hard veg which will take longer, look at the boiling time given on the packet as a guide).
- Put the pasta on to cook (enough for 4 people, depending on your appetites!). Then add the chilli to the pasta, a little at a time, until the heat is enough for you. Feel free to use more than 1tsp if you like your food spicy!
- Leave to simmer until the sauce is reduced and thick, and the pasta is cooked. Strain the pasta, and add it to the pan, thoroughly coating it with the sauce. Serve and enjoy!
And if you prefer to make the white wine, lemon and sage version, it will look at little something like this! Tastes far superior to it’s looks, I promise. This one is better served with papardelle or tagliatelle pasta because the slightly less creamy consistency of the sauce.
And there you have it: yummy, simple, and cheap. And a bonus alternative recipe! And both are even better topped with some grated parmesan or pecorino stagionato (aged pecorino), and a grind of black pepper.