Sunday, 31 October 2010

Jamie Oliver 30 minute meals - Sausage pasta

Jamie Oliver has a new show - well it's been on for a few weeks now, but I've only got around to watching the episodes I've Sky+ed.

So far it looks good. The concept being you can cook a meal pretty much from scratch for 6 in 30 minutes. Great concept but some of his ingredients are very pricey. He did a lovely "roast beef" dinner in 30 mins but the piece of fillet of beef he used must have cost a fortune !

One of the ones that took my fancy was the "Pregnant Jools pasta" which is basically a sausage pasta, a little salad and some frangipane tarts (one of the Husband's favourite puds). I thought I'd give it a try for Sunday lunch and apart from anything else the kids are guaranteed to eat pasta in almost any shape or form. I was also interested to see if I could do it in 30 mins. I consider myself quite an accomplished cook so I was up for the challenge.

My ingredients all assembled ! Time on the clock 13.00...


4 spring onions
1 stick celery
1 carrot
1 red chilli (I deseeded this as the kids were eating too)
400g good quality sausages
1 heaped tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp oregano
500g dried penne (I used fusilli)
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 cloves garlic
1x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
basil leaves - a small handful chopped and leaves to garnish

for the salad
1 bag prewashed rocket & watercress
2 red chicory
olive oil
parmesan shavings

for the frangipane
6 deep or 8 shallow shortcrust pastry cases
1/2 jar decent raspberry jam
1 egg
100g butter
100g ground almonds
90g golden caster sugar
ice cream to serve

TO START Get all your ingredients and equipment ready. Turn your oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Fill and boil the kettle. Put a large frying pan on a high heat. Put the standard blade attachment into the food processor.

 Trim the spring onions, carrot and celery. Roughly chop all the vegetables, then blitz in the food processor with the chillies (stalks removed). Add the sausages, 1 heaped teaspoon of fennel seeds and 1 teaspoon of oregano. Keep pulsing until well mixed, then spoon this mixture into the hot frying pan with a lug of olive oil, breaking it up and stirring as you go. Keep checking on it and stirring while you get on with other jobs. Put a large deep saucepan on a low heat and fill with boiled water. Fill and reboil the kettle.

TARTS Put the 6 pastry cases on a baking tray. Make a frangipane mixture by cracking the egg into a mixing bowl and adding 100g of almonds, 100g of butter and 90g of golden caster sugar. Grate over the zest of ½ an orange and add 1 tablespoon of vanilla paste or extract. Use a spoon to mix everything together. Spoon a small teaspoon of jam into each pastry base. Top with a heaped teaspoon of frangipane, add another small teaspoon of jam, then finally another heaped teaspoon of frangipane. Put the tray in the oven on the middle shelf and set the timer for 18 minutes exactly.

PASTA Top up the saucepan with more boiled water if needed. Season well then add the penne and cook according to packet instructions, with the lid askew.

 Trim off the bases of the chicory, then click apart all the leaves and quarter the heart. Scatter over a platter, then sprinkle the rocket and watercress on top and toss quickly with your hands.

PASTA Crush 4 unpeeled cloves of garlic into the sausage mixture and stir in 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and the tinned tomatoes. Add a little of the starchy cooking water from the pasta to loosen if needed.

SALAD Speed-peel or shave some of the Parmesan over the chicory salad and take it to the table with a bottle of extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon wedges for dressing right before eating.

PASTA Drain the pasta, reserving about a wineglass worth of the cooking water. Tip the pasta into the pan of sauce and give it a gentle stir, adding the basil and enough of the cooking water to bring it to a silky consistency. Taste, correct the seasoning, then tip into a large serving bowl and take straight to the table with the rest of the Parmesan for grating over. Scatter over a few basil leaves.

TARTS When the little tarts are golden and cooked, turn the oven off and take them out. Serve them warm, with a dollop of ice cream on the side.

the end result


the time on the clock ? 13.40.

It was a rather frantic 40 minutes. If I'd not made the puds then I'd have easily made it in 30 mins. I may have to have another go - son no 1 has already asked if I can cook it again ! It was very easy and very very tasty.


  1. I have been watching the Jamie Oliver show and I need this book . Everything he has made on his show has looked fab !

  2. Oh wow i saw this episode and so wanted to do the tarts...thanks so much for the recipe....what was the sausage pasta like???


  3. I loved that you challenged yourself with the time - keeps things fun!

  4. The sausage pasta was amazing !! I've already had a couple of requests to cook it again. So easy and so tasty. It made loads though, did Hubbie and I plus the kids for Sunday lunch (we all had two helpings !) and then the kids had leftovers for tea tonight.

  5. Aah - it seems we have quite a few things in common then. Well, I'm glad I found your blog.