Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Sausage pasta bake

This is a great dish for when you have kids (and parents) over for lunch since you can prepare it in advance and then just cook it once you are ready for it.

I feel it is a bit like a lasagne with layers of the sausage and tomato ragu, then pasta "layers" and then the cream sauce and cheese. Since there is both a cream sauce as well as the tomato sauce it seems to please those that normally don't like one or the other (like my girls!) It also sneaks in quite a few vegetables which is always a good thing!

Ingredients

Pack of 6 large or 12 chipolata good quality sausages
1 tbsp olive oil
1chopped onion
1 large carrot grated
150ml red wine
300ml vegetable stock
3 tbsp tomato purée
Cup of frozen petit pois

FOR THE SAUCE

50g butter
50g plain flour
600ml milk
Nutmeg
500g rigatoni or penne
150g grated cheddar
Parmesan

Begin by slitting the sausage skin and removing the skin. Then cut the sausage meat into bite-size chunk. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the finely chopped onion for 5 minutes until browned. Then add the sausages.



Brown these until lightly coloured.



Then add the carrot, stock, wine, puree and seasoning.



Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened.



Meanwhile make the white sauce. Put the milk, flour and butter in a pan over a medium heat and simmer for a few minutes, whisking continuously, until everything blends together to a smooth consistency and then starts to thicken. Stir in some freshly grated nutmeg.



At the same time cook the pasta until just al dente and when cooked pour the cup of frozen petit pois into the pasta for a minute to "cook" and then drain. Keep back a couple of spoons of the pasta water and stir that into the sausage mix.

Pour half the pasta and peas into a large dish.



Then pour over the sausage mix.



Top this with the remaining pasta.

Pour over the white sauce.



Then top with the grated cheddar and some grated parmesan.

Bake for 25 minutes at 190 degrees C until golden brown. As I said you can make this in advance and either keep in the fridge or if making it well in advance it can even be frozen. A great dish to keep adults and kids happy (and not too much work for the cook!)

Til soon....

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