Can you remember an advert that was on a few years back which advertised eggs? In the advert, a desperate bloke opened up his fridge to seemingly see nothing that could make a tea, and then called up his wife and moaned that there was nothing in the fridge. He clearly was not looking too hard, as his wife directed him to the eggs, the lone pepper and the onion sitting all sad at the back of the fridge. Within minutes, a kind of Spanish omelette was being whipped up.
Speedy suppers seem to be a much requested thing for me at the moment. People, it seems, are becoming more and more bogged down with the pressures of everyday work or family activities and tea time is becoming more of a chore. That tends to see people reaching for the convenience food. And we don't want that do we? If you can gain a bit more confidence in the kitchen by adopting a few simple cooking processes and learning how to be creative with what you have, it is amazing what you can do.
I always ensure that the spice and dried herb cabinet is full to the brim. They lift the dullest and most bland of ingredients to another level. This dish is a perfect example of what you can do with just a few fresh ingredients and some non-perishable store cupboard herbs and spices. It is completely non-authentic, but does that matter when it is cheap and delicious, packed full of flavour and filling for the whole family? Of course, it is my everyday job to help people realise the potential of an empty larder, helping people to work with just a few quid and emphasising a healthier lifestyle. And I just know that anybody can get out of the convenience rut with a little application and effort. Speedy suppers are the answer, so please feel free to let me know your ideas so I can share them with the people that want them.
Smokey Sausage and Pepper Pasta
8 good quality pork sausages
1 onion, sliced
1 pepper, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 tins of tomatoes
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 tsps dried oregano
2 tspns paprika, if you can get it, smoked sweet paprika
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
Tagliatelle or your pasta of choice
1 - In a large casserole dish, heat the olive oil and then quickly brown the sausages all over. Remove and keep aside.
2 - Add the onions and pepper to the oil and stir for 5 minutes until soft and slightly browned. Add the tomato purée, garlic, herbs and spices and cook for 1 minute.
3 - Return the sausages to the casserole dish with the tomatoes. Bring to the boil and then simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
4 - Boil your pasta of choice. Serve with the smokey sausage and pasta sauce and a scattering of basil and a green salad.