sausage & tomato pasta

The sauce is even better the next day. Make a double batch and chill for up to a week, or freeze in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Reheat to a rolling boil with a little water when ready to eat.

400g large dried pasta shells
400g British free-range sausages, meat squeezed out (or 400g sausagemeat), rolled into 24 balls
200g mozzarella, torn
100g parmesan, grated

for the sauce
Olive oil for frying and drizzling
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbsp tomato purée
Pinch chilli flakes or to taste
1 tbsp fennel seeds
Glug red wine (about 50m1)
3 x 400g tins plum tomatoes
1-2 tsp caster sugar
1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked

Heat a glug of oil in a large frying pan over a low-medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, then fry gently for about 8 minutes until soft (see Golden Rules). Add the tomato puree and cook for 20 seconds, stirring. Add the chilli and fennel seeds, then cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Add the wine and bubble for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes, swirl the tins out with a little water, then add that to the pan too. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook gently for 45-60 minutes until thick, stirring now and then (see Golden Rules). Add the sugar and half the basil, some salt and pepper. Stir and taste.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside, drizzled in a little oil.

While the pasta cooks, fry the meatballs in a tittle oil in a large flameproof casserole for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.

Add the pasta to the meatballs and pour over the sauce. Scatter over most of the remaining basil and the cheeses, then bake for 25 minutes until bubbling. Stand for 5 minutes, add the last few basil leaves, then serve with salad.

per serving (for 6): 642 kcals, 29.8g fat (13.1g saturated), 32.3g protein, 61g carbs (10.2g sugars), 2.2g salt, 5.3g fibre