Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sausage, Olive & Tomato Pasta

I have a constant struggle with my husband since he doesn't like tomatoes so every time I make a tomato pasta I'm as happy as can be and him.... not so much! Don't get me wrong – he does always say he enjoys it, just not as much as a cream sauce. The problem is (other than the fact that I love pasta with tomato sauces) is that they are so quick and easy to make and nicer to my waist line than cream sauces are! My compromise therefore is to always use passata or crushed tomatoes (otherwise I have to puree the chopped or whole tomatoes - I keep those dishes for when he is away!!) and sometimes to add some meat to the sauce. As far as I am concerned this is a perfect compromise as it's tomato based but full of rich, meaty flavours (and if you are looking for a healthier option turkey sausages are just as delicious). It is the perfect mid-week meal as it is quick and easy and guaranteed to keep everyone in the family happy. Perfect!

1 tbsp olive oil
4-6 sausages (of your choice), depending on their size
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
700ml (approx.) jar of Passata (just use whatever size you can get close to this amount)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar (or to taste)
1 tsp dried oregano
A pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional)
A large handful of pitted black olives – I use Kalamata
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
Crumbled Feta, to serve (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

400g pasta of your choice – I use Radiatori

Squeeze little bite sized pieces of sausage from the casing to make instant sausage meatballs. (If you prefer you can roll them to make perfect little balls, but I just keep them as they are for a more rustic dish.)

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the sausage pieces. Cook over medium heat until golden all over then add the garlic and cook for another minute or 2 being careful not to brown the garlic. Add the passata, balsamic vinegar, sugar, oregano, chilli (if using) and some salt and pepper (go easy with the salt as the olives and feta are both salty). Add a little water to the passata jar and swirl it around to get all the remaining sauce off the sides then add to the pan. Leave to simmer for 20-30 minutes (depending on how much time you have!) until the sauce has reduced and thickened and the sausages are properly cooked through.

Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions. Before draining reserve some of the cooking water in a small cup.

Once the sauce is ready add the olives and taste to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Drain the pasta then add to the sauce pan and stir well. Add a little of the cooking water to the sauce to thin it slightly and help the sauce stick to the pasta. Drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil then sprinkle over the parsley and finish by crumbling over the feta cheese if using. Simple, quick and completely delicious!


  1. I am just like your hubby. If it's in a sauce or soemthing I can totally handle tomatoes, but other than that I hate them. LOL. This dish looks so deliscious!! Definitely gotta give it a try!

  2. Yummy!! Have to have that one night this week. I miss your cooking sooooo much :( xxxxx

  3. I love olives in my pasta, this looks fantastic! :)

  4. Lovely! I used to prefer cream sauces when I was younger but my husband actually got me into tomato sauces and now I prefer them and often find cream sauces too rich.

  5. Lovely photo's. Could eat a plate of this right now

  6. This dish looks and sounds delicious.

  7. Thanks everyone! It's such an easy dish to make but so tasty with lots of great flavours! If you try it I hope you enjoy it as much as we do : )


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