Sausage and pasta – what’s not to love?

31 Mar

We love sausages and pasta, so when it is combined in just one pot, easy and quick to cook with hardly any washing up, then this is food heaven.  I have to say I was a bit dubious that everything would be properly cooked but I enjoyed every mouthful and all I cook hear from Terry, my husband, was something that I could only describe as a purrrrrrr!  Kids will absolutely love this dish, a perfect midweek meal.  One word of advise though, use good quality sausages.  I think cheaper versions might have too much fat and maybe make the dish oily.  The pasta used in this dish is penne so I thought I would look up a few foodie facts.

Penne (pronounced peni) is a cylinder shaped pasta.  It can be either smooth or ribbed and is designed to hold as much sauce as possible.  It was perfect for todays dish and you could actually see the sauce running through the middle of the pasta and oozing out the other end.  The name penne comes from penna, Italian for feather or quill, presumably to describe the similar action of these as writing implements. 

There are some mixed theories of the origins of pasta to Italy.  Some say it was brought to Italy by Marco Polo from China.  However, there is evidence that pasta was already eaten in Italy during Polo’s time and there is even mention of a type of lasagna in 1AD!  In more recent times, the 8th Century to be exact, pasta was introduced to Sicily by the Arabs.  It was made from a hard variety of wheat and is believed to be the origin of dried pasta.  To this day there are many Sicilian recipes that contain influences from Arabian cooking, and include raisins and spices such as cinnamon. Today there are over 350 shapes of dried pasta and Italians eat over 60 lbs of pasta per person, each year!

The recipe I am sharing today is based on one from Woman and Home Dinner Tonight.  I have adapted it to suit our taste.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Sausage and pasta one-pot         Serves 4

  • 8 good quality sausages (choose the variety you like best)
  • 6 slices pancetta (or smoked streaky bacon), roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 250g (9oz)chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1.5 pints (about 700 ml) ham stock (made with 2 ham stock cubes)
  • 250g (9oz) dried penne pasta
  • 200g (7oz) runner beans, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a very large, deep, frying pan or saute pan.  Fry the sausages, pancetta and onion over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until the sausage is brown all over.  Keep turning and moving around the pan to avoid burning.
  2. Add the mushrooms and fry for a further 2 minutes until they have softened slightly.
  3. Pour in the tomatoes and stock then add the pasta and beans.  Mix well, bring to the boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes until the sausages are cooked and the pasta is tender.  This should give you a rich sauce.  If the sauce is too thick simply add a little more water.  If it is too thin boil rapidly for a couple of minutes to thicken it.
  4. Stir in the Worcestershire Sauce and season to taste.

Serve with a couple of glasses of red wine! Heaven!!!!! 

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