Here is the recipe I shared on our Stories on Saturday afternoon. This meal is perfect if you have friends coming over in the evening and want to pre-make something that you can just put in the oven and re-heat when everyone gets hungry (drinking lots of cocktails will do that to you!)
This was a freestyle recipe, using the basic ingredients of any bolognese, I changed a few things by swapping some ingredients out and adding some different flavours… the result, Ross’ Sausage & Sweet Pepper Bolognese Pasta Bake!
Here’s the recipe and how to put this epic dish together!
15ml of Olive Oil
12-16 Good Quality Pork Sausages
3 Cloves of Garlic Crushed
3 Sweet Peppers (Red/YellowOrange) Chopped
3 Portobello Mushrooms Chopped
1 x Large Red Onion Chopped
1 x Tinned Tomatoes
2 x Tbsp Mixed Herbs
2 x Tbsp Smoked Paprika
Salt and Black Pepper for seasoning
Chilli Paste (optional)
500g of De Cecco Tortiglioni Pasta
Extra cheese of your choice for the topping (I use either Mozzarella, Red Leicester or Parmesan
4 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp of English Mustard
100g grated strong cheddar (or 50g grated cheddar, 50g crumbled blue cheese)
1. In a large saucepan cut all the sausages into one-inch pieces, add the olive oil and put on a medium to high heat. Cook for 5 mins until the skins go a lightly golden brown.
2. Boil a large saucepan of water ready for the pasta
3. Add 3 cloves of crushed garlic to the sausages and stir for 1 minute
4. Add the Onion, Mushrooms, Tinned Tomatoes and Peppers and stir in.
5. Add the Mixed Herbs and Smoked Paprika and continue to stir, mixing all those flavours!
6. Add the Passata and reduce the heat
7. Add the chilli paste/fresh chillis if you desire a little kick but these are not necessary if you don’t like heat.
8. Dash of Red Wine (I like a lot) but you can judge how much you need.
9. Leave to cook on a low heat (it should be lightly bubbling) for 15 mins
10. The water for the pasta should be boiling by now, so add the pasta and cook as specified on the pack (normally 9-11 mins)
11. Now time to make the cheese sauce… (I’ve provided a BBC Good Food Recipe here as I make mine freestyle and don’t measure – you may need to double the quantities below if you’re like me and like your cheese sauce!
12. Pour 500ml milk into a large saucepan and add 4 tbsp plain flour, mustard and 50g of Butter
13. Turn on the heat to medium and start to whisk the mixture. Keep whisking fast as the butter melts and the mixture comes to a boil – the flour will disappear and the sauce will begin to thicken.
14. Whisk for another 2 mins while the sauce bubbles then stir in 100g grated strong cheddar cheese (or 50g grated cheddar) until melted
15. Once the cheese sauce and pasta are ready and you’re happy with how the Bolognese tastes, drain the pasta and mix the pasta with the Bolognese. Add the cheese sauce on top of the large dish and lightly fold in making sure all the pasta is covered
16. Add the additional cheese of your choice (I use a mix of Mature Cheddar, Mozzarella and Parmesan for extra flavour) on top.
17. Put under the grill until the cheese is bubbling and it’s ready to serve. If like me you’re making this earlier in the day for guests later in the evening, I cover mine with foil and leave it on the side until I’m ready to serve. When you are ready, put it in the oven at 200 degrees and put in the oven for 30-45 mins to heat through until hot.
18. Serve with some buttery Garlic Bread and a green Salad with some amazing Cardini’s Caesar dressing!