Pasta bake with courgettes and sausage

29 Aug

DSCI0165I suppose every one has their own version of comfort food but, for me. pasta does it every time.  Apart from it being so versatile, it is quick and easy to cook and, often, freezes well so there is always a ready meal in the freezer.

This pasta recipe was the ultimate in comfort food.  Little nuggets of sausage in a beautiful tomato sauce and topped with melted cheese.  Absolutely delicious.  I am already thinking about how I could vary the recipe.  Maybe, instead of adding a pinch of chilli to the sauce I could use chilli sausages, or for an added Mediterranean twist maybe Italian sausages.  How about a Spanish influence with chorizo? I could vary the vegetables too.  Perhaps replace the courgettes with spinach or asparagus spears.  I can see we will be having this dish a few times in the future.

Sausage is a food usually made from ground meat with a skin around it. Typically, a sausage is formed in a casing traditionally made from intestine, but sometimes synthetic. Some sausages are cooked during processing and the casing may be removed after. Sausage making is a traditional food preservation technique. Sausages may be preserved by curing, drying, or smoking. Charcuterie is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, such as bacon, ham, sausage and other foods, primarily from pork.

Wikipedia lists 189 types of sausage from around the world and the list is incomplete! Looks like I will have more variations to this recipe than I initially thought.

I found the recipe in a Good Food magazine and adapted it to my taste.  Here is the link to the recipe on their website and my version below.

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/courgette-sausage-rigatoni-bakes?destination=node/4063616

Pasta bake with courgettes and sausages                Serves 4

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 good-quality pork sausages
  • 3 courgettes, sliced on the diagonal then cut into batons
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • good pinch chilli flakes
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 300g / 10 oz penne
  • 150g ball mozzarella, patted dry and torn into chunks
  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Squeeze the sausage meat out of the skins and breaks into small nuggets. Fry in the oil until brown and cooked through. You may need to do this in two batches.
  2. Add the courgettes to the pan with the garlic and chilli flakes. fry for a couple of minutes then pour over the tomatoes. Season and allow to bubble for 5 minutes, adding a splash of water if it is too thick.
  3. Meanwhile cook the penne as per packet instructions. Drain well and stir trough the sauce.
  4. Transfer everything to oven-to-table dishes, either individual or one large dish.  Sprinkle over the mozzarella and place under a hot grill until the cheese is golden and melted. Serve immediately.

NB This dish can be frozen after assembling. Defrost before reheating and heat through in a low oven for 20 minutes.

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