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Friday, 13 July 2012

Italian Sausage Pasta to impress...with a little cheat

Have you ever needed a quick meal that still looks amazing? Perhaps you have some unexpected guests? No need to get's what I always fall back on.

Time saving element: Squeeze the sausage meat out of the store bought sausages!! SO SIMPLE but so effective!!

Pasta is usually pretty boring when you make it at home, and never has that wow factor that you get in a restaurant, but with this simple trick you can make even the most simplest of pasta dishes look incredible.

Tip: Jazz up the dish further by using decorative shaped pasta; my favourites are Campanelle and Gigli; and serve on a large plain coloured or white plate. Start with some breads and oil, put a dry white wine, some fresh parmesan and a fresh potted plant (e.g. basil) on the table and your quests will think they've jetted off to Italy for the evening. Maybe...

Try it and let me know how it turns out :)

Here's a really quick recipe to give you an idea of how you could use this trick:

2 garlic cloves
1 red onion
2 handfuls of rocket (you can substitute this with mixed leaves if you prefer)
1 fresh chilli
4 store bought or fresh butcher sausages
2 mugfulls of dried pasta
1 can of tin chopped tomatoes
mixed herbs
olive oil, salt and pepper to season

Serving: 2 portions

1) Cut the onion in half vertically, i.e. cutting through the stalk end and base/root. Lie the onion cut side down on the chopping board and thinly slice from the stalk end to the base/root, to make crescent shapes
2) Finely chop the fresh chilli and garlic
3) Put the dried pasta in a saucepan, add water and a little salt, increase temperature until it's boiling and then reduce slightly so it can simmer
4) Add a little olive oil to a large frying pan, once hot add the garlic and chilli and stir
5) Once garlic starts to turn golden, add the onion and stir for a further 5 minutes
6) Now for the fun bit! Take your first sausage carefully unwrapping the skin at one end. You may find using scissors to score down one side of the sausage makes this step easier. Begin to squeeze out 1cm lengths of sausage meat and drop into the frying pan. Make sure you stir the ingredients occasionally and repeat this step for all sausages
7) Once sausages have browned, add tomatoes, stir and season with salt pepper and herbs of your choice; simmer for another 5 minutes
8) Drain pasta and add to the frying pan
9) Stir sauce into pasta for a minute or so, add the rocket leaves, give one final quick stir and serve.
10) Enjoy :)