Easy sausage bolognaise

IMG_2926If your child is anything like mine, spaghetti bolognaise is a clear favourite when it comes to mealtimes. And, to be honest, it is a favourite of ours too! So with the evenings starting to cool down as we make our way into Autumn, it felt somewhat appropriate to have a big pot of bolognaise sauce simmering away on the stove one recent afternoon. IMG_2928 Josie and I took our usual daily walk – ending up at our small local shop to collect the key ingredients. I soon realised they were out of mince (and I didn’t feel like walking to the bigger shops) – so I sought out an alternative. In this case, thick beef sausages from which I could extract the meat. IMG_2922 The rest, well it came together pretty simply. All the usual additions (onion, carrot, celery, passata, tomatoes and wine) – simmered low and slow for a couple hours. IMG_2925 The result being a flavoursome meat sauce! IMG_2931 Served atop a big bed of spaghetti – with a lil’ glass of shiraz for the adults alongside. And, as for Miss C – well she went back for second so I’m calling it a win! Not to mention the leftovers that became a topping for some roasted sweet potatoes the next day! Sausage bolognaise (serves 6-8)

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 celery sticks, diced
  • 5 thick beef sausages – removed from skin
  • 500g tomato passata
  • 400g tinned tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • sprinkle of herbs (I used dried oregano and parsley)
  1. Sautee onion, carrots and celery in a little olive oil in a large pan – until starting to soften.
  2. Add the meat – and continue to cook until browned (breaking up lumps with a spoon).
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover, and cook slowly for an hour or so. Remove the lid and continue cooking until the desired consistency is reached.

What about you? For those with kids, what is your ‘guaranteed winner’ meal?

15 minute meals – Sausage gnocchi with warm kale salad

The title says it all. A plate full of comfort and flavour, and served up for dinner ….well a while ago now. IMG_46782 Taken from Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals recipe book, this was another winner. You can find the recipe here. IMG_4669 The “sauce” for the gnocchi was made with some spicy pork sausage meat, fennel, rosemary, chianti and passata. Cooked until it had reduced, before adding some cooked gnocchi and chopped broccoli. IMG_4671 (one for the pot, one for the chef…) IMG_4676 As for the greens – well these were no ordinary greens. Rather, the beans and kale were topped with some crunchy bacon, that had been drizzled with maple syrup and toasted hazelnuts. IMG_4679 Fancy no? And while gnocchi is not generally my first choice when it comes to pasta – it surprised me in this dish. The proved to be the perfect little pillows for the rich, spicy sauce – and I actually wished there had been seconds. IMG_4673 A delightful dish all round. What about you? Are you a fan of gnocchi?

Sausage and bean casserole

While there is certainly a hint of warmth in the air suggesting Spring is upon us, or at least on its way, there have been some unseasonably cool days recently also. So many, in fact, that comfort meals are still appearing quite regularly on our dinner table. IMG_3656 One such meal was this incredibly easy sausage and bean casserole, using some tasty pork and fennel sausages we picked up from our favourite butcher. IMG_3657 Quite simply, sausages (browned and halved), added to sautéed onions, capsicum, garlic, tinned beans (rinsed), cherry tomatoes, passata and a sprinkle of brown sugar. IMG_3659 And, not forgetting the secret ingredient.. IMG_3658 A good splash of BBQ sauce! Covered and into a moderate oven for an hour, then finished with a handful of pitted kalamata olives. Sprinkled with fresh parsley, and served atop a bed of creamy polenta…. IMG_3664 And this was a winning belly warmer indeed! IMG_3663 Delish! And with the added bonus of there being plenty of leftovers for an easy dinner the next night too. Just reheat and eat! What about you? Are you a fan of meals that yield leftovers?