A lot of people wouldn’t be Jamie Oliver fans but I have to go against the grain on this one. I think he and his recipes are great. The ingredients are very easy to get and he does simple, tasty food. Here’s another one from the 30 minute meals series. The dish was lovely, I’m not very fond of fennel seeds so I think I would leave them out next time. They have an aniseed flavour, which is an acquired taste.
For the pasta
- 4 spring onions
- 1 carrot
- 1 stick of celery
- 1-2 fresh red chillies
- 1 x 6-pack of good-quality sausages (approx. 400g)
- 1 heaped tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 500g dried penne
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- A few sprigs of Greek basil, or regular basil
To start: Get all your ingredients and equipment ready. Fill and boil the kettle. Put a large frying pan on a high heat. Put the standard blade attachment into the food processor.
Pasta: Trim the spring onions, carrot and celery. Roughly chop all the vegetables, then blitz in the food processor with the chillies (stalks removed). Add the sausages, 1 heaped teaspoon of fennel seeds and 1 teaspoon of oregano. Keep pulsing until well mixed, then spoon this mixture into the hot frying pan with a lug of olive oil, breaking it up and stirring as you go. Keep checking on it and stirring while you get on with other jobs. Put a large deep saucepan on a low heat and fill with boiled water. Fill and reboil the kettle.
Pasta: Top up the saucepan with more boiled water if needed. Season well then add the penne and cook according to packet instructions, with the lid askew.
Pasta: Crush 4 unpeeled cloves of garlic into the sausage mixture and stir in 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and the tinned tomatoes. Add a little of the starchy cooking water from the pasta to loosen if needed.
Pasta: Drain the pasta, reserving about a wineglass worth of the cooking water. Tip the pasta into the pan of sauce and give it a gentle stir, adding enough of the cooking water to bring it to a silky consistency. Taste, correct the seasoning, then tip into a large serving bowl and take straight to the table with the rest of the Parmesan for grating over. Scatter over a few basil leaves.
Note: you can swap the celery for courgette also if you prefer.