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sausage, roasted tomato and broccoli orecchiette

last october an obsession with sausages roasted with cherry tomatoes, fennel and balsamic was born. scented with rosemary and thyme, the combination of roasted tomatoes, the delicately flavoured fennel (this is a good way to eat fennel if you’re nervous of its aniseed flavour) and balsamic, come together in a rich sauce which contrasts fabulously with the meaty sausage. and best of all, there is plenty of sauce for mopping up with warm bread, slathered with butter. this was the perfect comfort food for a wet, chilly evening.

however, i have a new favourite way of cooking sausages, which is better suited to the warm summer weather which keeps attempting to make an appearance. having said that, it’s equally delicious and worth trying if the long-standing drizzle remains.

the winning combination of sausage and tomatoes remains but is lightened with the addition of tenderstem broccoli. this dish worked really well with orecchiette, whose texture contrasts well with the sausage and which holds little puddles of sauce in its hollows

this dish is my contribution to presto pasta nights which, this week, is being hosted by me! i hope you have a pasta or noodle dish to share with me, see here for details of how to get involved.

sausage, roasted tomato and broccoli orecchiette (serves 2)

8-12 ripe tomatoes

olive oil

small bunch of tenderstem broccoli, trimmed into bite size pieces (you can use ordinary broccoli)

orecchiette for two

2-4 good quality sausages (c150-200g), cut into 1-2cm pieces

1 red pepper, cut into 2cm pieces

1 clove garlic, sliced

juice of ½ a lemon

handful of torn basil

heat the oven to 150c.

quarter your tomatoes, toss in a tablespoon of olive oil and place, skin side down, on a baking sheet. roast for 1 ½ - 2 hours until they are soft and have lost much of their moisture. if you want to make a quicker version of this dish, instead use halved cherry tomatoes which do not need roasting, just add them at the end , with the cooked broccoli.

blanch the broccoli until it is just cooked. rinse in cold water and set aside. put your pasta on to cook.

in a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and add the sausage pieces and red pepper. cover and cook until the pepper is soft and the sausage pieces cooked through, adding the garlic after a few minutes and stirring regularly – this will probably take about the same time it takes for your pasta to cook.

when the pasta is ready add it, with the roasted tomatoes and broccoli, to the sausage pan with the lemon juice and basil. mix well so the broccoli and tomatoes heat through. serve with parmesan shavings.

Reader Comments (4)

Hi Abby, Thanks for organizing this week's PPN. I just sent you my entry and I hope you've received it.

The orecchiette looks really good. Pity we can't get it in Malaysia :( Chorizo in pasta is one of my favourite weekday meals.
September 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDee
The sausage, herbs and veggies sound perfect together.
September 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
Hi Abby
Just sending you my PPN entry for this week. Nice to discover your blog via Ruth whose blog I love
Just saw Jamie Olivers Big Food Fight on Junk food last night glad to see you are using real sausages in your delicious looking recipe.
It was disgusting to see what passes for a sausage in a lot of supermarkets in UK and I'm sure it happens here in NZ as well.
September 2, 2008 | Unregistered Commentergilli
thanks ladies! thisweek's round-up is finally up - lots of amazing dishes, including various ones comprised of the component ingredients of this one - sausage, broccoli and orrichiette!

gilli - decent sausages are the only type i eat - the others just taste so wrong!
September 5, 2008 | Registered Commenterabby

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