The relaxed shuffle through the days that is the summer holidays has come to an end. A return now to the hustle and bustle, the tail chasing and packing too much into each day. My cooking takes on a very casual attitude when school is out, I lose the menu planning and list making structure of term time. If there are loads of beans in the garden then dinner will feature those. Mackerel on offer from a fishing friend? Fab, fire up the braai. Big salads and cobbled together meals are the fall back although I do need to have a loaf to hand and lots of protein around to feed always hungry teenagers.
Towards the end of these holidays I succumbed to a cold. It really was just a cold. The weather already felt autumnal and so I had some sausages from the freezer to make this recipe for lunch. In the end I felt so rotten lunch became sausages, baked beans and oven chips. Lifted by the fabulous local sausages (Down House Farm) and I won’t hear a word said against baked beans it was a fine lunch. This recipe however feels a bit more special, is hardly any more effort and not only tastes fabulous but includes some fresh tomatoes and works a dream with a big salad.
Like so many of my recipes, you can customise this as you please. If chilli flakes are too bold a choice then use some paprika, smoked if you prefer, which works a treat with the sausages. Hate tomatoes, then how about some little cubes of courgette or simply onions peeled and cut into 6ths. If you have the end of a loaf cut it into cubes, mix into the pan towards the end of cooking and you’ll have crunchy sort-of-croutons. Either rosemary or thyme works depending on what you have, the only absolute essential is some good sausages that share their savoury flavour with the other ingredients and don’t leech a load of water into the pan. It also makes sausages go a bit further without seeming mean if you have an unexpected guest.
Sausages and potatoes with tomatoes, rosemary and chilli
8 pork sausages
500g new potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes (or paprika, see intro)
3 cloves of garlic, unpeeled and cut in half
Small sprig of rosemary, needles removed and chopped
A couple of handfuls of cherry tomatoes
Fresh parsley, chopped to sprinkle
Preheat the oven to 200. Cut sausages into three and halve the potatoes (if they are bigger than a squash ball then cut into three. Mix the sausages, potatoes, oil, chilli, rosemary and garlic in an oven tray and put in the oven for 25 minutes. After this time give it all a stir and add the cherry tomatoes and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and blistered and the everything else is golden. Remove from the oven, leave for 5 minutes then sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serves 4 with a salad or greens but very easy to scale up.