Welcome Monday, I bid you hello and a speedy goodbye. Please ask Friday to hurry on up on your way out so I can once again stay up late and not suffer it’s consequences the following day.
And so whilst I stare at my screen in dismay and feeling the gloom and doom of Monday blues, I found myself starting to envy the other half of the world that is still spending their Sunday celebrating the summer heat.
To add to the dreaded time of the week, I found out a couple of (not-so) interesting things about my life:
- The office building has a setup whereby the temperature within the building is regulated based on the temperature outside of the building. What that means is the office is filled with people sitting at their desks with their winter jackets on.
Does such a setup even make any sense?
- I crave food that remind me of summer in the middle of winter and hot chocolate in the middle of summer. Which just means that I can never fully appreciate either as my body is never in sync with the weather.
So to get over it all, I do what I do best, head off to the butcher and supermarket during my break to sample the free food. (And, don’t you dare say you aren’t tempted by free food because that can’t possibly be true.) I personally, like to think that I am giving back to the whole system by actually purchasing something if it were to taste good. Heh.
So when I took a bite of the freshly cooked spicy bratwurst on offer at the butcher, I knew what my dinner was going to be.
Summery grape tomatoes (that so happened to be on sale, score!), grassy olive oil, and spicy sausages – quick and fresh with the heat of the chilies in the sausage to make it almost winter appropriate.
And no, I’m not using the meat from the sausages only because I am lazy. Nope, there’s another reason for it.
If you were to break it down, sausages are basically just ground up meat + seasonings all marinated within a casing for a long period of time. Everything done for you without having to worry about planning ahead.
And it’s because we are using the seasonings and fillings of the sausages to bring flavor to the pasta, it is crucial that you use the best quality sausages you can find. We wouldn’t want mysterious meat in your pasta sauce nor weird chemicals now would we?
The grape tomatoes provide that burst of flavor, sweetness and acidity. It mellows the heavy punch of the sausage’s seasonings and brings it back to being less of instant meal and more of a proper hearty meal.
I like slicing my grape tomatoes in half to allow the juices to from the tomatoes to form a sauce to coat my pasta with, but if you like that burst of flavor you get when you bite into them, feel free to keep them whole.
I shall keep quiet now and just get onto the recipe because all this talk about food makes me want another bowl.
The Quick Punchy Sausage Pasta
Feeds 2 tired hungry people in about 30 mins
What you’ll need:
- 500g Spicy Bratwurst Sausages* (uncooked, approximately 4 sausages)
- 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
- 4 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1 punnet (200g) grape (or cherry) tomatoes halved
- 300g Thin Spaghetti (No.4)
- 2 tbsp olive oil (plus more to be drizzled on when serving)
- Parmigiano Reggiano (to be grated on top of the pasta before serving)
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil.
Whilst water is coming to the boil, dice your onions. Prepare a pan to cook the sauce in that is big enough to hold all the pasta.
Heat olive oil in the pan on medium heat, when it starts to smell fragrant, add your onions and start frying them off until they are translucent and start to take on some color.
Whilst waiting for the onions to cook, chop up the garlic and remove the filling from the sausages casings by cutting a slit down the length of the sausage.
(Don’t be shy, use your fingers and get into it. Grab the fillings right out of it’s casings.)
When the onions have started to take on some color, it’s time to add the sausages.
Break up the sausage filling with your fingers as you add them to the pan.
Fry it until it takes on some color and continue to break up any large pieces.
(When frying, don’t move it around too much, you don’t want to sweat the sausage, you want that brown maillard reaction that gives you the nice caramelised flavor so let it sear and seal itself when you are cooking it.)
At this point I would suggesting adding the pasta to the pot of water.
Whilst the sausage is cooking, start slicing up the tomatoes.
Add the garlic to the pan when the sausages are 70% cooked and continue frying.
Add the grape tomatoes when the garlic starts to smell fragrant.
When the pasta is 2 mins off where you would normally like them to be, remove them from the pot of water with a pair of tongs and transfer it to the frying pan.
(You want some of that pasta water, so do not toss it away. This is why I’d suggest using tongs to transfer the pasta so you dont have to drain the pot)
Mix to coat the pasta in the sausage sauce and add 1/2 cup of the pasta water to pan to deglaze and cook the pasta through.
(Basically, now’s the time to scrape any fond that’s stuck to the bottom of the pan. You want all of that yummy flavour.)
Cook until the pasta is al dante adding water as necessary if the pan becomes dry.*
Add salt to taste when the pasta is almost done.
(As the pasta water has salt in it, it isn’t advisable to add salt prior as you might over salt the dish.)
Serve with some grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
(Don’t stinge on the cheese, you know you love it. ;))
- This is not a saucy dish so don’t go adding water unnecessarily or you will end up with pasta soup.
- If you can’t find spicy bratwurst around, don’t fret, just use normal bratwurst and add 1 tablespoon of chilli flakes when you add the sausages.
- No bratwurst at all? Don’t fret. Any other sausages will work. The recipe is just a base, so feel free to use different types of sausages.
Let me know how you go if you do try this out!