Sausagey supper

Hands up, I bought one of those 'meat deals' (ergh, terrible phrase, sorry) from Tesco and now have a glut of sausages sitting at the bottom of the fridge. After much debate with Mr B we decided that toad in the hole is a little too autumnal for July, as is bangers and mash. In the end a pasta sausage supper felt just right especially after an unGodly 4.30am start that morning. Why is it that when you're pregnant the baby just knows you have an early morning meeting and dances the light fantastic all night as if to add a double whammy of tiredness? Perhaps preparation for post birth life? I have news for Baby Bell II - I already know what a sleepless night feels like so no need for a rehearsal.

With a veil of tiredness, something soporific and homely was just what the doctor ordered. I made a silent pledge to myself to eat more salad over the rest of the week in homage to the unusually good weather and as a personal apology to my body and Baby Bell II for eating stodgy comfort food in the height of summer.


For the sauce:

- 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes (Whatever brand takes your fancy, cheap is fine though I really like Tesco finely chopped ones at the mo.)
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 fresh chillis, cut into small bits (If you don't have fresh then chilli powder will be fine and I almost forgot my top tip on cutting chillis - save your fingers and use scissors to snip into the sauce. Mr B thinks this is a bit nuts but hey ho.)
- A squeeze of tomato puree
- Black pepper

For the veggies:
- A handful of button mushrooms
- A courgette
- A pepper (Actually I should rename this dish 'whatever is about to go off in your fridge but you're loathe to throw away. That would be more accurate.)
- Splash of olive oil

For the sausages and pasta:
- 4 sausages (Hopefully the kind with a reasonable amount of meat though sometimes I do crave those really cheap and nasty ones with no recognisable meat in them - must be linked to my penchant for McDonalds cheeseburgers.)
- Crisp n' Dry (Still loving this oil.)
- Pasta - I used Tesco's casarecce 'cause the sauce sticks nicely to it, but any will do

(This recipes uses a few too many pans for my liking but it's easy peasy so gets points on that score. Maybe trade cooking for the washing up?)

Right, put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta. Once it's boiling in a furious fashion add the pasta. As soon as you put the water on to boil, start to fry the sausages in a little oil in a frying pan. I used a medium heat as I don't like the skins to split as it lets all the fatty juices out. If you're less of a glutton than me you may prefer to slash them or indeed fry them on a higher heat thus letting out the piggy fat. Depends on the present state of your arteries I guess. You could grill them if they're in an especially bad state.

Once the sausages are in the pan get the tomato sauce on to give it at least ten minutes to thicken. Pop all the sauce ingredients into a saucepan and allow to bubble away, stirring occasionally.

Once the sausages are browned all over and feel firm take them from the pan and place on a chopping board. Put a little olive oil into the pan and add all your veggies, roughly cut to the same size, turn the heat up and keep stirring every few minutes until their skins start to brown and blister. In between stirs, slice the sausages.

Now all that's left to do is drain the pasta, return it to the large pan it was boiled in and add the sausage slices, tomato sauce (which should have thickened a little by now) and the veggies. Stir until the pasta is coated and serve. As you can see from the picture I have added a sprig of basil. My dear friend Victoria (Lady V) optimistically bought me a herb growing kit when she last visited from which I have managed to cultivate some edible herbs. I love that she bought me this despite knowing I have in the past killed a cactus left in my care. Admittedly I did have to harness the expertise of Mark, a friend who has his own allotment, in order to sow them. Still, it almost makes the sausagey supper look presentable.

NB: Mr B reliably informs me that Sausagey Supper is also good eaten cold for lunch though should be renamed Sausagey Lunch.

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