Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Sausage Vegetable Pasta Bake

Back from sunny Italy now - at least it's still warm here so the cultural shock's not too much!

I've been busy since we got back, but I've also been suffering a bit from writer's block - so I'm turning to a family favourite to get things restarted. Here it is - a tomato-y pasta bake.

Half-eaten (and scraped clean!) 

Ingredients:
250g pasta (I like fusilli because it holds the sauce well)
800g of tomato-based products (I like half/ half passata and tinned chopped tomatoes)
8-12 leftover (i.e. pre-cooked) sausages (feel free to economise the more vegetables you add)
Many vegetables - I used carrots, peas and sweetcorn here because that's all we had left, but I'd recommend broccoli (cauliflower too if you're into that), peppers, mini corn, beans etc.

Serves 6-8

Method:
1) If your sausages aren't being used up from another meal, you need to cook them first (180 deg C, about half an hour). Skip this step and go to 2) if they are
2) Boil water for pasta, then start cooking the pasta. Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C
3) Prep the veg (if they're frozen, don't bother defrosting them first but just get them out the freezer)
4) Chop the sausages into slices
5) Pasta should be done by now (about 12 mins) so drain it but keep the cloudy water for later
6) Take a large dish and tip the pasta in to make the bottom layer. (I normally discover I've made too much at this point, but then it just becomes tomorrow's lunch)
7) Tip in half the tomato stuff and stir the dish contents to coat the pasta. To speed the cooking time up, you could heat the tomatoes on the stove until it's bubbling before doing this
8) Now add the sausages
9) And finally the veg
10) Add the rest of the tomato stuff and stir (carefully! It might be a bit overflowing by now). Add a splash of the pasta water if there's not enough and stir in
11) Cook in the oven for about 30-40 mins (about 45-50 if you didn't heat the sausages first)

Budget:
Pasta = 35p
Tomato stuff = 90p
Sausages = £1.50
Veg = £1.20
Total = £3.95, 60p/ person

*Heats up well the next day for a hearty lunch
Variations
 - Take out the sausages and replace with more vegetables for the vegetarian version
- Also great with a couple of tins of tuna instead of the meat