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Sausage and tomato pasta

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I’ve taken my normal set of photos for this dish, the good lighting, the studio set up photos, but to be honest this is the real photo for this dish.

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For me this dish is the perfect camping dish. Why? Well ……

  • Pans – as far as I’m concerned a camping dish has to be made in no more than two saucepans. That’s the number our camping stove takes, and camping isn’t about faffy cooking to me.
  • Time – it’s a relatively quick dish to cook – it takes about twenty minutes. If I have time for it to sit puttering away on the stove, fantastic, but if I need to eat then it will be ready for me.
  • Ingredients – it has six main ingredients, there are a few others which are optional, but just six critical ones. No one needs a long list of ingredients on a campsite. Sometimes when we are camping we are limited to a pretty small village shop which has a smaller selection of ingredients. The critical ingredients for this dish are pretty likely to be in that shop. Of course if there is a butchers you are in luck, but even with very standard sausages this dish tastes good.
  • Warming and comforting – this has to be high on the ‘important’ list for a camping meal. After a long day on the hills, or a long day outside you need a warm and comforting meal and this dish meets that need.
  • Good for the whole family – JP loves this dish, he particularly loves the chunks of sausage, definitely choosing to eat all of those first if he can.
  • Rain – you can see from the photo that when I last cooked this dish on a campsite, it was raining. It was raining so hard I was the only one outside and as I leaned over the cooker, rain was dripping from the hood of my waterproof onto the cooker and no doubt into the food. I’m sure this only improved the flavour. Thank goodness for serious waterproofs.

As I laid out the ingredients of this recipe for the ingredient shot I was reminded of the lovely smells the ingredients for this dish create. The bunch of basil, the tomato sauce, even the tin of tomatoes smelt so good as I was positioning them and then clicking away, trying to get the best shot how delicious the meal tasted.

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I don’t season this dish, I find that with the sausages and the jar of tomato sauce it has enough seasoning. If I’m cooking this dish for the whole family I use a jar of tomato sauce that has just tomato and herbs. If it’s just adults eating this meal, I’ll go for something a bit punchier, anchovies, olives, or chilli maybe. So choose whatever tomato sauce you particularly like. Similarly, there are now loads of different types of sausages. For this dish I used pork and herb sausages, but have also tried pork and apple, caramelised onion, and Cumberland sausages – whatever took my particular fancy that day. All have worked well.

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The last thing to mention is the pasta, I’ve made this dish with conchiglie or shells, rigatoni, penne, all are good. You just want something that likes holding lots of sauce.

2 tbsp oil or a dollop of butter if you have that instead
1 large onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed (optional)
6 sausages, skin removed
1 x 350g tomato pasta sauce
400g can of chopped tomato
400g pasta, conchiglie
a large bunch of basil, torn up (optional)
parmesan, grated (optional)

Serves 4

1. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. While it cooks heat the oil or butter in a separate saucepan and fry the garlic and onions until the onions are translucent. Add the sausages and break them up with a wooden spoon in the pan. Cook until the sausages are no longer pink.
2. Add the pasta sauce and can of tomatoes and simmer for a few minutes before adding the basil. Serve with the pasta and parmesan.

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