As you read this blog, well, my pieces in particular, you will start to see a pattern: I love getting a take-away. I feed on the excitement of watching the delivery man getting closer and closer to my house, resulting in me hiding behind the door, to weirdly opening it before he even knocks…and then he gives me that ‘how long have you been standing there- look’.
I started to think about all the waste of plastic tubs, straws, greasy pizza boxes (that cannot be recycled BTW) and not only did it stink out our kitchen, it started to make me feel really guilty. There’s me, telling people to “do more for our environment,” while I’m tucking into my Chinese-takeaway which was driven here, put in a plastic tub wrapped in a plastic bag, put inside another plastic bag and all for what? A half an hour pleasure and a guilt-ridden evening of me screaming at Nic “why did you make me eat that!?”
So, my personal challenge was to stop ordering, and start cooking.
I am surrounded by amazing ‘chefs’ in my family and they can whiz up something out of nothing – fair to say, I did not get that trait (neither did my brother or sister). I’ve always admired how my mum cooks, she makes huge family sized dinners that fill you up just from the smell. And I don’t know if it’s just a ‘mum thing’ but they know how to make everything better, just with food. When your mum cooks, no matter how old you really are, it suddenly turns you into a child again. Familiar smells greet and hug you with memories, comforting you with the taste of childhood (and if you’re thinking of that Disney Ratatouille moment, then you’re absolutely right). This is another reason to why I want to change. How can a ‘cheeky take-away’ fill you with such fullness and comfort?
Therefore, with lots of “let’s just throw that in there and see what happens” I came up with this recipe.
- 300g Sausages (we are trying to eat less meat so we used 300g pack Linda McCartney’s 6 Vegetarian Sausages)
- 400g Cherry Tomatoes
- 200g Black Olives and 1 tbsp of the brine
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 Courgettes, trimmed and sliced
- 300g pasta of your choice (I used penne because it was the only thing we had in the kitchen at that time)
- A few sprigs of Rosemary
- Preheat your oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6. Cut the tomatoes in half then toss the tomatoes, olives, garlic and 2 tbsp oil in a roasting tin; season with salt and pepper. Put the sausages on another tray, then put the roasting tin and the sausages in the oven for 15 minutes, giving the veggies and sausages a flip halfway through.
- Heat the left-over 1 tbsp of oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the courgettes with salt for about 8-10 minutes, turning regularly until a golden brown. In a separate pan of boiling water, simmer the pasta for 10-12 minutes then drain, but keep a cup of pasta-water for later.
- When your courgettes are evenly and invitingly golden brown, remove them from the frying pan and set aside on a plate. Slice the sausages into little bite-sized pieces and add to the pan, fry for a couple of minutes just to crisp them up a little. Add 2 tbsp of the olive brine to the pan to get some flavour in the sausages. Get your sprigs of rosemary and pop them in the pan. Then tip in the pasta, tomatoes, any of the roasting juices from the roasting tin, add about 2-3 tbsp pasta water (so it starts to make a little juice for everything to soak in) and the courgettes. Let cook for 2 minutes.
- Plate up and eat!! (extra olives or cheese on top might be really nice too).
Let me know if you tried this, I would love to hear how you adapted it or any questions! Happy eating!