I’ve been craving a good pasta bake lately. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the whole family was sick for about a week. I wanted to make the kids feel as comfortable and as happy as possible considering how terrible they felt from having the flu. Every day I would ask them what they wanted for dinner and every day it was spaghetti bolognese. Sigh. I love a good bolognese, but truly, sometimes enough is enough!
So now that everybody is a lot better I’ve been getting more experimental again. Whenever I make something different to the norm I do worry whether or not the kids will eat it. It completely breaks my heart when I’ve put a lot of effort into something and then I’m told, “Ewww, I don’t like that, I’m not eating it!” even before they’ve tried it. My son Luka is the worst for this. He’s always been the fussiest child. Last night when I made Chermoula Chicken Luka was literally in tears because he wasn’t sure how it would taste. He had a piece of chicken on his fork for 20 minutes whilst he considered whether or not it would taste good. Eventually he tried a bit and lo and behold he liked it.
The thing about pasta is that I know that even if it’s a bit different to what I usually make, there is a pretty good chance that they will at least try it without too much cajoling. I love using Italian sausages to make instant no fuss meatballs that already taste amazing. I teamed them with capsicum and onion that I cook down slowly to really bring out their sweetness. I then added rich tomato and melty cheese and I knew even before I put this in the oven that this would be a winning dish. And that it was. Everybody went back for seconds!
500g short pasta shapes
2 tablespoons olive oil
500g italian sausages
1 brown onion, peeled and sliced
1 red and 1 yellow capsicum, thinly sliced
2 tins italian tomatoes
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups grated tasty cheese
Begin to heat a large pot of water for boiling the pasta. In a separate pan, add the olive oil over medium heat then squeeze teaspoon sized balls of sausage out of their casings straight into the pan. Begin to brown gently. Add the pasta shapes to the boiling water along with plenty of salt. Cook the pasta half way (about 8 minutes) before draining and setting aside.
Once brown on one side, turn in the pan and add the onion and capsicum. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes or until the onion and capsicum are soft, brown and sweet.
Add the two tins of italian tomatoes long with the chilli flakes, salt and sugar. Stir and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add the cooked pasta shapes and stir through, then add the grated cheese.
Bake covered at 180 degrees celsius for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
I’ve got to say, I really enjoyed this one, I hope you do too.
P.S. Happy birthday to my better half for today. You may be 35, but you don’t look a day over 34 xxoo