This is a classic dish, I've used sausage meat (and sausages) to give a real winter warmer feel to the flavour. It takes about 40 mins of chopping and stove work to prep it, then it's in to the oven at 180C for 25 mins and then 15 mins more at 220C to crisp up. Cracking served with garlic bread, which you can put in during the last 15 mins so everything is ready at the same time!
The tomato sauce base is tasty and very versatile, I use it in all sorts of things from a delicate oregano macaroni, spiced up with tortilla, simple with parmesan and spaghetti and a little basil.(ooh and don't forget pizzas too)
INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)
3 onions chopped,
1 red & 1 green pepper,
8 medium potatoes,
6 cloves garlic,
2 bay leaves,
1 bunch (40g) thyme,
1 bunch (40g) parsley
175g sausage meat
10 slices of salami (pave or a black pepper coated one - chopped)
8 good quality sausages
6 ripe tomatoes (coarsely chopped)
Pot 1 - The potatoes
Take 8 medium potatoes washed and sliced around 3/4 -1 cm thick. Then boil, skin on. When done check with a knife, smash them. This is adding a little extra virgin olive oil some salt and pepper and rough mixing them around the pan so a light potato fluff forms around them. This will give them a crispy outside when they're fried later which adds a great texture to the final dish.
Pot 2 - The tomato sauce
Put the EVO on high, hot, add 1 of the chopped onions, 1 clove of crushed garlic. After a minute or so add the tomatoes - they'll spit when they go in so be careful. Also add 1/2 a finely chopped chicken stock cube. Simmer for 10mins. Then mash with masher.
Pan 1 - Softening the veg
Slice 2 onions, 3 cloves of garlic add them to the pan, and sweat them off - cook them until the onions go clear (sweat then off) on a medium heat. While the onions cook, chop the peppers into eighths, removing the stalks and seeds. Next peel and slice 5 carrots. Peel them either lengthways or, a little easier first in half then diagonally about 1/2cm thick. Put the lid on and leave them all on a low heat to sweat. In the meantime, back at pan 2, err actually it's our first visit to pan 2!
Pan 2 - The stock and the sausages
Put 1/3 of a pack (around 175g) of sausage meat into the pan with a little oil and squash it flat into the pan with a spatula. Crumble 1 pork stock cube over it.
Chop up the salami and add it to the pan, break up the sausage meat with the spatula and cook through. You can add the sausages around the edge here to brown them off.
When sausage meat is cooked through remove sausages and put to one side. Add what should now be an almost crunchy mix to the veg in pan 1.
Put the potatoes in pan 2 with olive oil and crisp up adding the sausages to brown a little more if required.
Remove sausages and halve them, add the potatoes to pan 1 and mix through. Add a dash of white wine to pan 2 to deglaze the sausage flavours and pour this into pan 1 too.
Spread the tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking dsh and add sticks of thyme liberally
(every inch) on top, pour pan 1 in, spreading it over the top and add halved sausages.
Bake 180C for 25mins then full 220C for another 15mins (add a garlic bread or 2 now!)
Tip 1 - The tomato sauce base made here is very coarse but it doesn't matter since it's going to sit at the base of the dish and get thicker adding flavour and texture to the dish. For a smoother sauce add about 1/3 of the volume again of boiling water once the tomatoes are soft blitz it with a stick blender, then sieve.