I love pasta. I really, really love pasta. Pasta, however, is a cruel mistress who piles layers upon layers of unflattering fat across my hips, as well as making me feel bloated and – if I’m being honest – a bit ill. (I’m not often honest so still request that my mum makes me her lasagne, which is hand on heart the greatest lasagna on this planet, every time I return from uni.)
Despite our complicated relationship, pasta and I have found a way to get along just fine – I stay conscious of my gluten intake and indulge only occasionally, but make damn sure those occasions count. And boyyyyy did this count.
When considering the ease factor (this dish took me maybe 15 minutes) and the relative healthiness factor – no butter or cream as many of the pasta dishes hankering after my heart tend to have, this recipe is definitely one of my favourites. It comes together super quickly, and aside from the fresh parsley and tomato puree is made of cheap ingredients that most students would have on hand.
You can of course use any pasta you would like, a fusilli with its ragged edges would work particularly well, or a brown rice pasta for a gluten free option. I was all out of pasta unfortunately so used broken up lasagne sheets to make fettuccine like ribbons (which I think look pretty attractive if I do say so myself).
Easy Pork Ragout
1 pork sausage
1 celery stalk diced
1 carrot diced
1 clove garlic minced
3-4 cherry tomatoes quartered
Olive oil to serve
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add your pasta (depending on how al dente you like it, if all your ingredients are prepped, making the sauce will take about as long as it takes to cook your pasta).
2. Squeeze your sausage out of its casing into a hot pan (I cooked my sausage in a dry pan, but a little bit of olive oil wouldn’t go amiss) and sauté the meat until it browns and breaks up. Add your diced vegetables and cook until softened.
3. Add the fresh tomatoes and tomato puree with a bit of the starchy cooking water from your pasta, stir and let bubble away until it reaches a saucy consistency. (Cheeky ;))
4. Add your pasta to the hot sauce and serve with chopped parsley and olive oil.
I didn’t have any cheese in my fridge so didn’t use any, but I can imagine a good parmigiano reggiano would compliment the flavours beautifully! Also I like to use a slotted spoon to scoop my pasta right from the boiling water into the sauce as opposed to draining it, that way you naturally get more of the starchy liquid still clinging to the pasta into your sauce which makes everything a bit better. I actually have no idea why, I am tempted to claim that the starch in the cooking water thickens the sauce but that may very well be a lie. Every cooking program I’ve ever watched (there have been many) seems to swear by it though!