Ok, so my baby brother Matthew has finally grown up. Just about.
He’s 18 years old, taller than me, and as of next week… off to University!!! Say whuuuut?! I swear it was only yesterday he was scribbling on the walls and stuffing his face with everybody else’s birthday cake!
Anyways, my family and I were obviously suuuuper proud of him for being so clever and passing his exams (woo! -pom poms-)… but now we’re faced with the realisation that he’s going off to live independently and let’s face it…
..the boy can’t cook.
I mean, if we didn’t cook for him he would most likely live off a diet of coke, takeaway pizza’s, chocolate cake, and cheese. No lie.
Therefore, my mum lovingly took it upon herself to… get me to teach him how to cook. Cheers mum.
So the other night I cooked dinner with the little brothers help – ‘dinner’ being my simple sausage ragu with pasta that Matthew always asks for. It was an interesting experience to say the least. I am pleased to say the boy now knows spring onions are a thing. Sigh.
Though, I then thought, ‘Erm… I have a food blog… why am I not making recipe posts for him to pull up whenever he wants?!’ -LIGHTBULB-
So that’s what i’m gonna do – occasionally put up
dummy proof simple recipe posts for some of Matthew’s favourite meals, annotated lovingly for him. They won’t necessarily be glamorous dishes (and most likely involve pasta… Ang looooves the pasta), but they’ll be homely and it’ll mean he’s more inclined to cook them for himself. Right Matthew? RIGHT?!
Anyways, I’m obviously starting with the sausage ragu we made…
We began by finely chopping both types of onions. [Matthew, remember to cut off the ends and peel them first! And no, you don’t need goggles! MAN UP!]
We placed these in a large saucepan with a knob of butter and cooked on a low/medium heat until the onions were softened and translucent. [Till they were a bit mushy and slightly see through.]
Then we finely chopped the green chilli and the 3 cloves of garlic. [It’s easier to peel the garlic once you’ve cut the bottom off! Also, it’s a fair bit of garlic… probs not ideal to make this for a date…]
Then we threw this into the saucepan.
To remove the casings from the sausages we scored along the sausages with a sharp knife and peeled away the casings. We then added the sausage meat to the pan and broke it up into small pieces with the wooden spoon [so it looked like mince] and cooked it till it browned. [From that raw pink to a slightly brown.]
We then added the whole tin of of chopped tomatoes [yes, the WHOLE tin], the fresh cherry tomatoes [cut in halves, yes they WILL turn into sauce], the tomato puree and the sugar [yes, I know this isn’t cookies].
We then turned the heat up and brought the tomato mess to a boil [to when it starts bubbling], whilst smushing the cherry tomatoes to a pulp with the wooden spoon. [Try not to wear white whilst making this as I always find myself doing.]
Once it came up to the boil, we reduced to a medium/low heat and added the pesto, dried oregano, basil [just roughly tear the leaves into small pieces], worcestershire sauce [you may not want to know what’s in it, but trust me, USE IT!], and salt and pepper to taste. [Try it and see how much you prefer!! Though, bear in mind that I tend to add lots of pepper… Ang loves pepper.]
We then left this to simmer on a low heat whilst we cooked the pasta. [About 15 minutes.]
In a large sauce pan of salted boiling water, we added the pasta and cooked till al dente. [Roughly 10 mins, but pick out a strand with a fork and try it first… it should be soft with a little bit of a bite to it. Or throw it at a wall and see if it sticks. Clean it up though. You don’t want your housemates to turn on you for throwing the spaghetti.]
Once cooked, we strained the pasta and plated it with a large helping of the sausage ragu. [Or add the pasta to the sauce and stir through.]
We then topped with more basil leaves and grated cheese. [Let’s face it, you’ll constantly have cheese in the fridge.]
Serves 4, or about 2 ‘Matthew portions’. [Make the extra, fridge it and microwave it the next day. We all know how much you love ‘microwaved the next day pasta’.]
- 2 spring onions
- 2 small white onions (or 1 large)
- knob of butter
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 green chilli
- 2 rashers bacon
- 6 cumberland sausages
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 300g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1tbsp tomato puree
- 1tsp pesto
- 1tsp dried oregano
- 1tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- a handful of basil, roughly chopped plus extra for serving
- salt and pepper to taste
- 400g pasta
- cheese, for serving
- Finely chop the onions and place in a large saucepan with the knob of butter. On a medium heat cook till the onions are softened and translucent.
- Finely chop the green chilli, garlic and rashers of bacon and add to the saucepan.
- Score along the sausages with a knife and peel away the casing. Add the sausage meat to the pan and cook until it’s browned.
- Add the tin of chopped tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, tomato puree and sugar to the saucepan. Increase to a high heat and bring to the boil.
- Once it starts bubbling, reduce to a medium heat. Add the pesto, oregano, basil leaves, worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper.
- Leave to simmer away on a medium/low heat for about 15-20 minutes, or at least whilst you cook your pasta. Though, the longer the better 😉
- In a saucepan of salted boiling water, cook your pasta for the required time until al dente.
- Strain the pasta, then serve with a generous helping of the sausage ragu. Top with grated cheese and more basil.