Monday, 24 September 2007

Supper on Standby

Having neglected even to think about our supper tonight, I had to raid the freezer this afternoon. We had some packs of small sausages and cartons of my batch-cooked tomato sauce, so I defrosted one of each to make a version of my Sausage and Tomato Pasta. Favourite dishes like this one quickly become regular standbys for family meals, cooked slightly differently every time, adapted according to what we've got. That’s the way it should be; I keep cookery notebooks to scribble records of what I cook and how things change over time, but I don’t have the time (or the inclination) to start scouring recipe books for every evening meal.

So, while the penne was boiling briskly, I broke up the sausages a bit and fried them until they were cooked through and nicely browned, then poured the tomato sauce into the pan and let it reheat gently. The sausage-studded sauce could then be quickly tossed through the drained pasta. As always, I reserved a cupful of the pasta-water to stir in. This really does help all sorts of sauces to combine with the pasta, though sometimes you only need a spoonful or so, it’s still a habit worth getting into.

I serve ‘big’ pasta dishes like this one straight from the pan at the table, spooning out as much as everyone wants. Garlic bread, a green salad and some grated cheese to scatter over the pasta were just the right accompaniments for a damp and rather chilly evening. We all had a slice of Christopher’s birthday cake for pud.

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