Every now and again I crave this pasta dish. Rich gluten-free sausage meat, in a silky tomato sauce, sweetened with fennel seed and adorned with Swiss Chard.
This dish is not my original creation but my adaptation of Jamie Oliver’s, Jools Pregnant Pasta recipe. It was Jools’ favourite dish when pregnant. I’m not sure which time but maybe it’s why she likes being pregnant! Anyway you don’t need to be or planning to be pregnant to enjoy this super pasta dish.
I didn’t realise how much I love sausages until I started eating gluten-free sausages. The exclusion of gluten is often a good indication that a sausage has not been crammed with lots of nasties to bulk up the meat. As a sausage by its nature is minced and encased its an easy food for some manufactures to mess around with.
If you look in your local supermarket you will see that the higher quality brands (some even have royal warrants) are gluten-free. However where possible I would recommend buying gluten-free, organic, sausages from pigs that have been reared locally and enjoyed a healthy diet and life outside.
I’ve had a bit of a funny old week, starting to plan what to do to mark the 10 year anniversary of my mother’s death, which whilst is a lovely time to reflect, and celebrate her life, has also left me feeling a little emotional. For me this type of simple comfort food, packed full of flavour and a little goodness is the perfect antidote.
Sausage Swiss Chard Fennel Pasta
feeds 4 as a main course
- 400g of gluten-free pasta of your choice
- a glug of extra virgin olive oil
- 6 x gluten-free sausages, ideally organic, approx. 400g, 14 oz
- 2 x garlic cloves crushed or grated
- 1 x heaped teaspoon of fennel seeds
- 2 x tablespoons of fresh or frozen finely chopped basil
- 2 x tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (ideally organic)
- 1 x 400g, 14 oz tinned tomatoes, ideally organic
- 200g swiss chard leaves cut in to strips
- Maldon or alternative sea salt and pepper to season
- Put a pan of water on to boil and cook your pasta as per the packet instructions rinse and keep to one side. TOP TIP: not all gluten-free pasta is equal. I have found that you need to stir the pasta so it doesn’t stick and always rinse in cold water once cooked, before eating or adding sauce etc.
- Warm the extra virgin olive in a pan, take the skin off your sausages and break the sausage meat up in to little chunks discarding the skin
- Fry the sausage meat in the pan, constantly breaking the meet up with a wooden spoon as you stir, until slightly golden, this should take no longer than 5 mins
- add the, garlic, fennel seed, basil, balsamic vinegar and tomatoes bring to the boil and then gently simmer for 20 mins
- Add the chopped swiss chard and stir through until wilted, for approx. 2 mins. Add the pasta or re-heat it separately, season with salt and pepper to your taste and enjoy!
Notes: This dish will keep well covered in a fridge for up to 2 days.