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
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.
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.