We work a lot of nights. Close to five a week. I should say that it is par for the course that when people want to meet us it is either on a weekend (when Jason is shooting weddings – not possible!) or at night, after work. This means that I often don’t get started cooking dinner until close to 9pm. As you can imagine that makes for a lot of quick silly meals like a handful of dried peaches and some cheese and crackers, or (my personal favourite) take away. Now that swimsuit season is upon us (why oh why!!!), the frequency and amount of take away has so got to stop! My goodness!!! Wobbly things are starting to take root on my thighs and stomach that are truly frightening! So I decided that the
only best course of action was to cook a whole bunch of healthy things and freeze them in calorie controlled portions so, late at night, we can just grab something, stick it in the microwave and PRESTO – a home cooked dinner without the delicious extra fat and calories. That was what I was meaning to do but, when you see the recipe I have listed below you couldn’t really call it ‘diet food’. Oops – it looked so good in the recipe book that I had to give it a go. Next week will be better, I promise. Baby steps here guys…baby steps!
Baked Pasta with Sausage and Silverbeet (adapted from Bill Granger‘s Bill’s Basics)
400 gms pasta (I used shell shapes but you could use rigatoni as well)
200 gms silverbeet, cleaned and roughly chopped
1 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried cilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
6 sausages (the coarsest you can find), meat removed from the casings
10 cherry tomatoes
200 gms fresh ricotta
a small handful of grated parmesan cheese
Cook pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente. Add the chopped silverbeet for the last 30 seconds to blanch it and then drain and tip into a large baking dish. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add the onions and garlic and fry for 2 – 3 minutes or until translucent. Add the chilli flakes and fennel seeds and fry for 10 seconds to release the flavours. Add the sausage in little clumps and cook, flipping the ‘meatballs’ from time to time, until browned. Once browned and cooked through, add the wine cook until no liquid remains. Add the sausage mixture to the pasta and stir together. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and dot throughout the mixture. Break the ricotta up and sprinkle over the top and then scatter with parmesan cheese. Drizzle the extra olive oil and place in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes.