Who doesn't love a Saturday night in?
I hadn't had a Saturday night in for a long time and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was raining all day Saturday and our plan to walk to the local bar for a cocktail got drowned out when we looked outside then compared it to the snuggly, cozy, warmth the couch provided.
If you've been keeping up with my meal plans this week I haven't done so well keeping to a schedule... Wednesday I finished late so Tristan cooked what he was going to cook on Friday then Friday night we were invited to a friends place for steak and salad so we didn't have to cook then and Sunday night we were spoilt rotten and were invited again for dinner and had a delicious roast pork, crackling and all!
But on Saturday I did cook and it was such a good winter couch dinner watching Sons of Anarchy Series 5. It was a quick dinner to make from Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals cookbook but the washing up probably took about the same amount of time as it did to cook it. Every time there is more than one cooking pot to wash up I wish I had a dishwasher. I never appreciated it while I had it, oh boy do I know how great they are now!
The recipe starts off by cooking the sausages butterflied on a griddle pan. We don't own a griddle pan because in an apartment which doesn't have a great exhaust fan it smokes the place u and the entire apartment smells like sausages for days... yes we have done this before. So instead of using a griddle pan I sent Tristan outside on the balcony to cook them on the BBQ with some fresh rosemary from my herb garden. You then put nearly all of the sauce ingredients in the food processor and pulse. Pour it into a pan, adding passata and thick balsamic and cook.
I threw the lettuce leaves in a bowl and tossed with some chopped spring onions. Made the dressing, which was hot. Not heat hot but spicy hot. I think I made a mistake here and misinterpreted the recipe because the recipe said use 2 tsp english mustard, now english mustard to me is hot english mustard but this made the salad burn... Has anyone made this recipe before? Does english mustard mean dijon mustard or hot english mustard? soooo spicy for a salad!
When the pasta is cooked you add it to the sauce and chop the cooked sausages and stir them through finishing it with a drizzle of balsamic.
It was a very herby pasta sauce having such strong herbs in it - fennel seeds and fresh rosemary. It was rich and warm which was perfect for our saturday night in. I will definitely not use hot mustard for the dressing but would make it again with dijon or seeded maybe.
AND the pasta was delicious cold the next day... maybe even better :)
Jamie Oliver's Sausage Fusilli and a Creamy Garden Salad from 15 Minute Meals.Serves 4
4 beef sausages
1 large red onion
1 heaped tsp fennel seeds
4 jarred red peppers
4 sprigs of rosemary
4 garlic cloves
320g dried fusilli
3 tbsp thick balsamic vinegar, plus extra to serve
Creamy Garden Salad
(Salad recipe adapted to fit what my local supermarket had)
1 baby cos lettuce
100g baby spinach
100g baby rocket
2 spring onions
2 tsp English mustard (NOT A HOT MUSTARD!)
1 lemon, juiced
3 tbsp light greek yogurt
1 bunch of fresh chives
- Split the sausage in half lengthways but not cutting all the way through, opening them out like a butterfly and either cook them on a griddle pan on high or BBQ like I did.
- Place peeled onion, fennel seeds, pepper and half the rosemary in a food processor and pulse until all finely chopped. Add some olive oil to a heavy bottom pan and add the processed mix, stirring.
- Put your pasta into salted boiling water. While the pasta is cooking add your balsamic and passata to the pan (I used a 400g tin of tomatoes blitz in the food processor, same thing!) and allow to simmer while the pasta is cooking. When the pasta is al dente, drain it and add it to the sauce.
- While everything is cooking away toss your salad leaves in a bowl, or on a lovely board like Jamie does if you are presenting this dish to guests and don't mind washing up. To make the dressing add the lemon juice, mustard, yoghurt and chives in a jar and give it a good shake. Pour the dressing over the salad before you sit down to eat to stop it going soggy.
- Once the sausages are done add them to the pasta, finish with a drizzly of balsamic and the remainder of the fresh chives. Enjoy it while snuggling on the couch and make sure you leave some for leftovers... Amazing cold the next day!