Now the nights are drawing in, warm hearty fare is on my mind as I plan and shop for family suppers. Pasta with bolognese sauce is a firm favourite in our house, but it can be pretty time-consuming to make (and time is one thing I am always bit short of…) So, one way to speed things up is to use sausage meat for your meat sauce – you still get a really tasty savoury sauce, but it takes much less time to cook. I usually use pork sausages with some fennel in for a bit of extra flavour (and having read about ‘kind meat’ in Hattie Ellis’ brilliant book What to Eat? earlier this year, I do my best to select free-range pork sausages).

The most time-consuming bit is preparing the vegetables, but remember you can chop them in advance and simply keep them a bowl in the fridge with a bit of cling on top until you’re ready to cook later. You can do the veggies by hand, or just whizz them in the food processor or mini chopper to save time. Or even quicker, use a bag of ‘soffritto’ from Waitrose (who said you couldn’t cheat? I do!)

Note, you will need a decent sharp knife to slit the sausage skins.

Now there’s a wizard idea.

Super Sausage Pasta Sauce

Ingredients

Serves 46

Dash of olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, diced

1 stick of celery, diced

1 red pepper, diced

400g sausage meat (approx. 6 sausages)

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

A squeeze of tomato puree

1 tin chopped tomatoes (I’m a Napolina girl)

Salt & freshly ground pepper

What to do

  1. Sweat the vegetables in the olive oil over a medium heat until soft, stirring from time to time.
  2. Meanwhile, slit the sausage skins and remove the sausage meat.
  3. Add the sausage meat to the vegetables, and use your wooden spoon or spatula to break up the meat in the pan, until lightly browned.
  4. Add the red wine vinegar, and reduce. Once reduced, add the tomato puree and the chopped tomatoes and cook for approx. 20 mins until the sauce is reduced, thick and tasty. Season as required.
  5. Serve with pasta – we like farfalle or twists as the children tend to struggle with spaghetti.

Buon appetito!

Liz (aka TOHC) x

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