Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver shows just how easy it is to create a from-scratch version of the queen of convenience food, Sarah Millican’s favourite comfort food dish – the pasta uses best-quality sausages and tomatoes to give the sauce a real smack of flavour and depth.
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 stick of celery
- Olive oil
- 4 higher-welfare Italian sausages (250 g in total)
- 1 heaped tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp dried oregano, ideally the flowering kind
- 1 pinch dried chilli flakes
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 bunch fresh basil (30 g)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
- 2 x 400 g tins quality plum
- 300 g dried penne
- 40 g Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
- Extra virgin olive oil
Peel the onion, then finely chop with the carrot and celery.
Place a large pan on a medium-high heat with 2 tbsps of olive oil and squeeze the sausage meat out of the skins into the pan, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you go.
Fry for a few minutes, then add the fennel seeds, oregano and chilli flakes, and strip in the rosemary. Finely chop and add the basil stalks, reserving the leaves for later.
Add the chopped veg, then peel and finely grate in the garlic. Cook for 10 mins, or until softened. Pour over the balsamic vinegar and leave to bubble away and reduce slightly.
Scrunch in the tomatoes through your clean hands, then add 1 tin’s worth of water and the larger basil leaves. Bring to the boil, then simmer over a low heat for 20 mins, or until thickened.
With around 10 mins to go, cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, then drain, reserving a mugful of cooking water.
Toss the drained pasta into the sausage pan, loosening with a little reserved cooking water, if needed. Taste and season to perfection, then remove from the heat.
Finely grate in the Parmesan, scatter over the remaining basil leaves, and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Delicious served with pinches of lemony rocket and an extra grating of Parmesan, if you like.
Recipe: Jamie Oliver, Sarah Mullican / Photo: Ella Miller. Courtesy of TLC Southeast Asia Jamie and Jimmy’s Food Fight Club S6