We had not had pasta for a while, and I really fancied Nigella’s pasta with salami and beans. Unfortunately the salami in the fridge had been eaten…… so a quick adaption was needed. This was all done in the time it took to cook the pasta.
Pasta with tomato, sausages, lentils and mushrooms
Two fresh sausages
2 cloves garlic
200g fresh mushrooms, slices
1 jar passata di pomodoro (700g)
1 tin lentils, rinsed and drained
Pinch of sugar, optional
Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)
Salt and pepper
Handful of fresh herbs (basil, oregano, sage), chopped
250g dry pasta of your choice
Some grated parmesan or Gran Padano to serve
Start by boiling the water for your pasta. A generous amount of water, with a bit of salt when the pasta goes in. Chop up the sausages and fry them off in a saucepan, just to get some of fat out. Take out the sausages. Drain the grease off (just not down your drain, if you live in Rome and have delicate plumbing….) and gently fry the garlic and onion in the same pan. In the meantime, cook your pasta (in a separate pot). When the onion and garlic have softened, add the mushrooms and cook for a couple minutes. Add back the sausages, the passata (tomato sauce), and halved cherry tomatoes, and cook under lid for five minutes or so. A handful of fresh herbs is nice here, or dried if that is what you have. Add a small pinch if sugar, some black pepper and salt to taste. Serve with some freshly grated parmesan.
Notes: this will make enough pasta for lunch the next day, plus sauce for another dinner as well, if you are two. The leftover sauce can be frozen. Passata is uncooked tomato puree, strained of seeds and skins. You could also use chopped fresh tomatoes, or tinned tomatoes. If using fresh tomatoes it might better to let them cook down a bit longer. I was hungry, and opted for passata with a few fresh cherry tomatoes tossed in. We also used smoked salt. I often add lentils to mince or sausage dishes when cooking, just to be a little healthier. And they are so cheap as well.