Proper sausages filled with meat, not cereal, fat and fillers, will give you a superior result.
300g (10-11 oz) quality pork and fennel sausages 4 Tbsp (60ml) olive oil 1 tsp chopped rosemary 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed 2 x 400g (14 oz) cans crushed Italian tomatoes Salt 500g (more than a pound) penne, rigatoni or spiral pasta Freshly grated parmesan for serving
1 Snip skin on sausages, then peel off skin and chop the flesh. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a medium frying pan (skillet) over medium-high heat. Add sausage meat, increasing heat to high. Cook for 5-7 minutes until lightly golden, stirring from time to time. Turn off the heat, tilt the pan and leave sausage meat to drain.
2 Put the rest of the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan and set pan over a low heat. Add the rosemary and garlic and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic turns a pale biscuit colour. Carefully pour in tomatoes.
3 Season sauce with ¼ tsp salt and a little black pepper. Add drained sausage meat. Bring sauce to a gentle boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes, or until sauce is nice and pulpy.
4 Meanwhile, cook pasta in plenty of gently boiling salted water until al dente. Drain briefly and turn it into a heated serving bowl. Quickly toss through three-quarters of the sauce, then pour the rest on top. Serve immediately with parmesan cheese.
Fleshy tomatoes ripened by the sun make an exquisite pasta sauce, but canned tomatoes come a close second, producing a more deeply-coloured pulpy sauce.
Canned and cooked tomatoes contain more licopene (an antioxidant phytochemical, which is effective in preventing cancers and heart disease), than fresh ones, so try and introduce tomato juice into your diet and use tomato concentrate and canned tomatoes in sauces, soups and casseroles. They also contain plenty of Vitamin C. For pasta sauces, use canned tomatoes in thick sauce. If you can only get whole tomatoes, transfer them to a deep bowl and squish them to a pulp with your hands.
If the sausages set in large clumps, use a potato masher to break them up.
I use cheaper rock salt for cooking pasta.