Unlike the previous savoury recipe, this one’s a cinch to make because the idea for this Sausage Meat Pasta came to me when we were on holiday (I can’t remember where) and tired of eating out. Luckily, we had a small kitchenette,some kitchen supplies and essentials like olive oil, salt and pepper and a supermarket nearby. So, with as little ingredients and fuss-free as possible, this pasta comes together in under 30 minutes and probably goes down even faster. This quick spin on the traditional Bolognese pasta is sure to please everyone.
Though short on ingredients, the flavour is still somewhat good as sausage meats are already well-flavoured and browning the meat adds depth of flavour to the mat sauce. I chose to use meat sausages instead of minced meat as fresh sausages are more easily available than minced meat in Kiwi supermarkets. Any type of fresh sausages work for this dish but just choose ones that have a bit of fat in them and I do find that free-range sausages have much better flavour. The herbs enhance the rich and unctuous meat-tomato sauce and I like garnishing my pasta with a few thyme leaves to add a burst of freshness in each bite. You could use any fresh herbs you have at hand but try to copy the flavours of your sausage. Since I was using Spanish Chorizo I added about 1/2 teaspoonful of smoked paprika with the tomatoes for an extra kick. Sage, oregano or marjoram also work well. Of course, use fresh pasta if available in your supermarket but by all means you use any type of pasta that works well with thick meat sauces. The meat sauce freezes well so make a double batch and freeze in airtight containers for a quick, homemade weeknight meal. All you need to do is to just cook the pasta, reheat the sauce and hey presto, dinner is served!
The browned meat and chunky tomato sauce clings onto the pasta so well that every mouthful is pretty awesome, considering that you made this in 30 minutes! I’ve made this many times after that holiday meal when I’ve needed a comforting, quick meal after a gruelling workout or because its winter. Make this quick version of Bolognese pasta this weekend because, let’s face it – who doesn’t like a bowl of delicious pasta?
Sausage Meat Pasta
- 1 tbsp + 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 6 meat sausages ,about 400-500g ( I used Spanish Chorizo), removed from their casings
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (400g) of whole tomatoes in juice
- 1 cup of chicken/beef stock
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
- 400g fresh pasta sheets, cut into inch wide strips or any dried pasta that holds meat sauces well (eg. pappardelle, penne, rigatoni etc.)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- extra virgin olive oil
- Parmigiano-Reggiano/Grana Padano/ Pecorino, finely grated
- In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat and add the sausage meat and with a ladle/wooden spoon, break up any chunks of meat. Cook till the meat turns brown.
- Transfer browned meat into a bowl/plate.
- In the same pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the diced onions with a pinch of salt and sauté till they become translucent.
- Add minced garlic and sauté for about 1 minute or till the garlic starts to soften.
- Add stock and the whole can of tomatoes with its juices into the pan. Using your ladle/spoon, break the whole tomatoes into medium-large chunks. If you prefer a very smooth sauce, purée the tomatoes and juices with a handheld blender before adding to the pan.
- Loosen any brown bits clinging to the side of the pan. Add thyme and/or rosemary sprigs to sauce and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. Check for seasoning and add salt/pepper if required.
- Meanwhile, cook the freshly cut pasta/dried pasta in a large pot with salted water.
- When pasta is cooked but is still firm when bitten (al dente), return browned meat to pan with tomato sauce. Using a slotted spoon, drain pasta and add directly to pan with meat sauce. Add a few spoonfuls of cooked pasta sauce into tomato-meat sauce to loosen it. How much you add depends on how thick you like your meat sauce.
- Finely grate some cheese and toss pasta to evenly coat with meat sauce.
- Transfer to serving dish and top with more finely grated cheese , drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil and tear up some fresh thyme leaves and scatter on top.
- Enjoy with a glass of red wine. I like mine with a Pinot Noir. A bowl of side salad also helps. Cheers!