Ha! You thought I wasn't going to talk about tomatoes anymore. Wrong. I'm so talking about tomatoes today. I'm talking about tomatoes and sausages and herbs and Jamie Oliver! Do we not love Jamie? Personally, I think he's one of the most brilliant chefs out there and below I present to you one of his brilliant recipes.
One of my favorite things is when Jamie cooks outside. I love watching him throw together these beautiful ingredients from his garden and then put them in these rustic pans which then go into his brick oven to be transformed into these roasted yummy plates of awesome goodness.
I long to cook like Jamie Oliver. Not being able to pull that off exactly, I still had to make this dish I saw him throw together on his show not long ago. Beautiful tomatoes from his garden...
were chopped and thrown into his baking pan along with fresh thyme and rosemary, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, bay leaves and dried oregano, salt and pepper.
All of this was mixed together by hand and then he nestled Italian sausages among the tomatoes to give off their flavors to the tomatoes as they roasted.
In England, their sausages come in small sizes which are about half the size of the sausages that we get here. I wish I could find those. In lieu of that, I cut mine in half. Pretend they're not cut.
All of this is placed in a 400 degree oven or....
one of these. I'm still learning how to control the heat in there, but I think I got it right this time. I so wish this was a video so you could see the tomatoes bubbling away in there. The sausages browned pretty fast and after about 30 minutes I pulled it out and turned them. The pan went back in for another 20 minutes or so and looked like this...Gosh, I wish I was a better photographer! Need macro lens. The sausages were browned to golden goodness and the tomatoes smelled divine. I took it all inside and pulled out the stems of the herbs, sliced up the sausages, added some rigatoni and made it look like this...
Yes, folks. Pasta. Can you believe this is the first pasta on my blog? A worthy recipient of the honor, I must say. It was quite divine. Thank you, Jamie. And thank you, Henry, for my brick oven. The end.
SWEET TOMATO AND SAUSAGE BAKE
Recipe excerpted from Jamie Oliver
4 1/4 pounds lovely ripe tomatoes, mixed colors if you can find them
2 sprigs each fresh thyme, rosemary and bay
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
12 good-quality coarse Italian sausages
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Note: I have recently decided that I like this better without the balsamic vinegar. It seems better with just a splash of red wine vinegar if you feel it needs acid. The balsamic is a bit too strong and over-powers the other flavors.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Get yourself an appropriately sized roasting pan, large enough to take the tomatoes in 1 snug-fitting layer. Put in all your tomatoes, the herb sprigs, oregano, garlic and sausages. Drizzle well with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Toss together, then make sure the sausages are on top and pop the pan into the oven for half an hour. After this time, give it a shake and turn the sausages over. Put back into the oven for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how golden and sticky you like your sausages.
Once cooked, you'll have an intense, tomatoey sauce. If it's a little too thin, lift out the sausages and place the pan on the stove to cook it down to the consistency you like - I tend to make mine quite thick - then put the sausages back in. Check the seasoning and serve either with a good-quality loaf of bread warmed through in a low oven for 10 minutes (great for mopping up the sauce!).