It’s almost time to put the comfort food aside and enjoy the slide into summer. However, the rain is chucking it down tonight so I’ve gone with an in-between recipe, courtesy of Jamie Oliver, that is just perfect for this time of year as its hearty but without being heavy. What I really love though is how fresh it tastes! The insane amount of cherry tomatoes and the fresh herbs it uses makes this dish taste like summer 🙂 And the minimal amount of prep and of washing up afterwards is just a bonus (other than washing the blood of a million cherry tomatoes off your hands, that is! )
Hubby and I tend to devour this with a good-quality loaf of bread, something soft that you can tear into chunks to mop up the tomato sauce with. Or, if your bread is particularly crusty, pile everything on top of it instead like I did above and let the tomato sauce soak in and soften that crust. Alternatively, Jamie suggests mash, rice or polenta and a green salad. And if there are any leftovers, “if” being the operative word, Jamie says to chop them up and make into a chunky pasta dish, using penne or rigatoni, the next day. I haven’t actually been able to test this yet, but I’m fairly certain Jamie isn’t lying…
- 2kg lovely ripe cherry tomatoes, mixed colours if you can find them
- 2 sprigs each of fresh thyme, rosemary and bay
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped (or minced)
- 12 good-quality Cumberland or coarse Italian pork sausages
- extra virgin olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Start by preheating the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5.
- In the roasting tray that's large enough to take all the tomatoes in one snug fitting layer, put in all of your tomatoes, the herb sprigs, oregano, garlic and sausages. Make sure there are enough tomatoes to pack down without gaps because the sausages want to sit on top of them, not sink into them where they will broil and look kind of peely wally. Or, you can quickly brown the sausages all over in a frying pan first, which definitely makes them look more appetising.
- Drizzle well with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Toss together, then make sure the tomatoes are packed tight on the bottom and the sausages are on top.
- Pop the tray into the oven for 30 minutes.
- After this time, give the tray a good shake and turn the sausages over. Put back into the oven for another 30 minutes.
- Once it’s cooked, you want to have an intense, tomatoey sauce. If the tomato sauce is a little too thin, lift out the sausages and place the tray on the hob to cook it down to the consistency you like – I like mine thick and exceedingly mop-uppable! This is also a good time to pick out all the bits of herbs.
- Dish up with warmed up fresh bread and eat up!