Baked Sausage and Pepper Ragu

This is a rustic, veg-packed pasta that couldn’t be easier, but tastes like it’s been simmering away for hours. Perfect for when you don’t even want to look at something simmering on the stove; just throw it in the oven and enjoy the chaos-free kitchen.

To serve, embrace the lazy vibe and simply pop the tray down in the centre of the table with some big spoons, a hunk of parmesan and a fine grater, and let everyone help themserlves.

Feeds 4 – 6

Ingredients

1 large red onion, diced

2 red peppers, de-seeded and sliced

3 cloves of garlic, sliced

1 tsp dried oregano leaves

Sprinkling of chilli flakes

1 tsp fennel seeds

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

350g good quality pork sausages, sliced on the diagonal

2 cups (500ml) passata (or crushed tomatoes)

1 tsp sugar

500g penne

1 large bag of baby spinach

Parmesan, for grating

Method:

Preheat the oven to 425F / 220C / 200C Fan.

To a large roasting tray add the red onion, peppers, garlic, oregano, chilli flakes, fennel seeds, a big pinch of salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Give everything a good stir, then place the sliced sausages on top. Drizzle over a little more olive oil over the sausages.

Pop it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, then give everything a good mix around and bake for a further 10 minutes. Add the passata, sugar and another pinch of salt and pepper, and bake for another 10 minutes, stirring at the 5-minute mark.

Meanwhile, boil the pasta in a large pot of well-salted water. Before draining, use a mug to capture half a cup of the starchy pasta water. Remove the ragu from the oven and add the spinach to the sauce, stirring to wilt slightly. Drain the pasta, then transfer immediately to the roasting dish and stir to coat with the rich sauce. Slosh in some of the reserved pasta water and add a generous grating of parmesan. Give everything a final stir, then finish with a grating of parmesan. Serve immediately.

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