Penne with courgette and home-made Italian sausage
Skill level: Easy peasy
The home-made sausage in this recipe goes perfectly with penne pasta, courgettes and handfuls of Parmesan cheese - make a large batch and give the whole family a generous portion.
- 450g dried penne
- Olive oil
- 500ml tomato passata
- 1 courgette, grated
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 large handfuls of grated extra-mature Cheddar cheese
- 1 large handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
For the Italian sausage mix:
- 1tbsp fennel seeds
- 500g pork mince
- 2tsp garlic powder
- 1tbsp mild paprika
- Freshly ground black pepper and a good pinch of salt
You can use whole sausages and cut them open but it takes roughly the same amount of time to prepare once you've squeezed the meat out.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
- Put a large saucepan of salted water on to boil and cook the penne according to the instructions on the packet.
- Meanwhile, make the sausage mince. You will need to grind the fennel seeds using a pestle and mortar. If you don’t have a pestle and mortar, put the seeds in a plastic sandwich bag and crush them with the tip of a large rolling pin. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. It is worth taking a little time over this to make sure everything is evenly mixed in.
- Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and cook the sausage meat until it is no longer pink.
- Pour in the tomato passata, the grated courgette, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook for just a minute or two.
- In a large baking dish, mix the cooked penne well with the sausage sauce and cover the pasta with the two grated cheeses. You want to make sure that there is a really good layer of cheese, covering much of the pasta.
- Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is golden and bubbling.