Monday 21 April 2008

Could you live without Pasta?

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I think I'd struggle. Of course really fresh homemade pasta is the best, I don't have a pasta machine though so most of the time I'll buy fresh pasta from the supermarket, but I wouldn't even want to be without just the normal dried stuff. When it comes to pasta, I'm really not a food snob and sometimes, when I'm on my own I'll happily just tuck into a plate of spaghetti with tomato ketchup. There you have it, it's out, my confession of a dark food secret!

You're probably turning your head away, completely sickened, vowing to never come read my blog again now, but doesn't everyone have one of those dishes? Please, say yes! Make me feel normal!

Anyways, if you are still with me and haven't closed the browser window in disgust yet, I'll leave you with one of my favourite recipe for tomato based pasta sauce. Well, I say recipe, because this time I actually measured what went in, but I usually just throw it together and it turns out slightly different but really good every time. Oh, and yes, it does contain a little bit of Heinz Tomato Ketchup, but just a small amount that adds a nice sweetness to balance the acidity of the tinned tomatoes, and I promise nobody will be able to detect it in the finished sauce.


Sylvie's Pasta Sauce with Sausage and Peppers
(serves 4)

6 bangers, casings removed (British sausages, I like to use Cumberland or Lincolnshire, but whatever you like)
1 onion
2tbsp tomato puree
3tbsp sundried tomato puree
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can chopped tomatoes with herbs
1 ½ tsp Italian Seasoning
2tsp dried oregano
1 ½ tsp vegetable stock powder
1 ½ tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp sugar
2tsp sambal oelek (optional)
5tbsp Heinz tomato ketchup
1 ½ peppers, chopped
8 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a little olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the onion and the sausage meat and fry on a medium to high heat until the sausage is starting to brown. You need to break the sausages up really well with a wooden spoon while they’re frying.

Add both kinds of tomato puree and the garlic. Stir to coat all the meat and onions and fry for a further minute or so.

Add the tomatoes and fill the empty can with water, adding that as well.

Now add all the rest of the ingredients and stir well.

Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary.


Can you see the sunshine in the pictures? Finally, it actually feels a bit like spring today, not just is the sun out, but it's actually the first day where it feels quite mild. When I went out for a run in my long-sleeved winter gear, I quickly started wishing I'd put on short sleeves. Could it be that spring is finally here, or have I jinxed it all now by writing about it?


Anonymous said...

My roommate in Germany used to boil pasta, cook bacon in the meantime, then dump the drained pasta into the saucepan with the bacon grease, fry it up, and melt a block of cheese on top. And then eat that with ketchup all over it.

If you left out the cheese it wasn't half bad (I'm allergic), although the pan was extremely nasty to clean out afterwards.

Melissa said...

Nope, I couldn't live without pasta. But ketchup...ick! I'll forgive you though. By the way, I jinxed spring (in CA of all places) awhile ago when I said I was done with soups for the season. It's still cold here...well in the 60sF which is cold for here!

Maria♥ said...

Sylvie I love pasta and this looks so good, mmmm!

Oh and I forgive you for the tomato!


Peter M said...

Sylvie, the pasta looks good and a lil' Ketchup is fine, it's not like it's THE sauce for your pasta.

Jan said...

I could not live without pasta! Your looks good!
PS: Don't talk about the sun - it'll go back in lol.

test it comm said...

That pasta sounds really tasty. I have not tried adding ketchup to a pasta sauce yet. Nice touch with the balsamic vinegar.

Marie Rayner said...

Oh gosh Sylvie, this sounds good. I Love pasta. Todd, however, is not a lover. I do torture him from time though, it's in my job description as a good wife.

Kelly-Jane said...

Pasta, ketchup love them both! Reading this recipe you can just tell it's full of flavour, looks great too.

Nic said...

I'll pass on the ketchup but will take a serving of this instead!
My youngest son would probably eat pasta with ketchup if I let him - the nearest he gets is to have it with passata.

Gloria Baker said...

Sylvie I know my son can't live without pasta and he loves keptchup!!Really nice recipe and pictures!!! xxGloria

Suzana Parreira said...

Sylvie, count me in. I could NOT live without pasta - and I'm not sure why I would want to do that! This sounds delicious!

Lovely photos! So cool the spring has finally made it your way. It's quite cold around here. Can't wait for spring to come to Portugal too!

Sylvie said...

I'm glad to see all of you haven't turned your back on me after that confession! :D
Thanks for your comments.

Cathie said...

I love pasta with ketchup!! There is absolutely nothing wrong with it at all. When I was much younger I used to live on pasta with steamed brocolli on top, grated cheese and ketchup. It keep me alive for years.

Jaime said...

that's a great looking pasta sauce! i honestly can't tell the difference between homemade pasta and store bought... so i haven't made much with my pasta maker so far...

Anonymous said...

We definitely could not live without pasta here!

Yours looks great.

Pixie said...

I used to grab a bowl of pasta and toss cold tomato sauce on it; loved it then!

Never have thought of adding ketchup to a fresh pasta sauce though. ;)

Sylvie said...

Thank you all!

Ginny said...

No, it is impossible! I do not even want to try! haha! The Italian side in me would rebel. Your pasta looks delicious!

Nickki said...

Sylvie, that looks delicious! And I'm totally with you on the ketchup, I add a few squirts of the the stuff whenever I'm making tomato sauces for pasta. I swear it makes all the difference! Just think, Marco Pierre White uses ketchup in some of his recipes so we are in good company lol x

Rosie said...

Hi Sylvie, oh my what a wonderful pasta dish you have made!! This is so bookmarked for me to try, thanks for sharing this with us :)

Rosie x

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Well Sylvie our secret is out. For a really quick fix I have loved pasta with ketchup since I was a kid. Now please tell me you like pickled onion sandwiches too:D

Maggie said...

The people at the tomato ketchup factory will be really proud that you put the ketchup to such good use!