sausage and tomato pasta with chives

Lindsey Bareham

This is an idea pinched from M&S. I doctored a jar of their tomato sauce with hints of sausage, adding Parmesan and masses of finely sliced chives. It was so good, I made it from scratch the next day with fresh passata, a couple of meaty butcher’s pork sausages, fennel seed and red wine. Try it mixed into orecciette pasta or over split baked potatoes.

serves 4, prep 20 min, cook 30 min

600g vine tomatoes or 600g passata
1 onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
¼ tsp fennel seeds
2 meaty pork sausages
½ glass red wine
1 tbsp tomato purée
150ml chicken stock
3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
bunch chives
orecciette pasta

Cut the cores out of the tomatoes in a pointed plug shape. Coarsely chop and liquidise for several minutes until thick and fluffy. Halve, peel and finely chop or grate the onion. Heat the oil in a spacious, lidded frying/sauté pan, stir in the onion with a generous pinch salt and cook over a medium-low heat, stirring regularly while you peel and finely chop the garlic, crush the fennel seeds and skin the sausages.

Stir garlic and fennel into the softening onion, cover and cook at a slightly reduced heat for 2 min. Add ½ a teacup of water, cover and cook for a further 5 min during which the onion will turn sloppy. Remove the lid, simmer until juicy rather than wet. Increase the heat, add crumbled sausage and stir-fry until evenly browned and crumbly. Add red wine, stirring as it bubbles away. Add tomato, puree and stock. Simmer, stirring constantly, as it cooks and thickens into a bumpy red purée. Season to taste. Just before serving, add Parmesan and finely snipped chives.