September 3, 2009

Jamie Oliver's Sweet Cherry Tomato and Sausage Bake

Cherry Tomato and sausage bake copy

MUNCH RATING: 3/5

This is a Jamie Oliver recipe and I think it’s the first recipe of his that I’ve actually used! I thought the recipe would be perfect for using up my glut of cherry tomatoes, but I didn’t have enough (even though I halved the recipe, the full recipe is below) so I just made up the quantity with normal tomatoes.

I also got to use the rosemary and thyme that is growing very nicely in my herb pot, which I was very excited about (yes I know I need to get out more!).
The original recipe is incredibly easy to make as you just throw everything into a baking tray and shove it in the oven. My only criticism is I would like more specific quantities for the oil and balsamic vinegar, as it’s quite hard to make an educated guess when you’re drizzling.

CHANGES TO THE RECIPE:
I added my own twist to the recipe by blitzing the sauce and then passing it through a sieve to create a silky smooth sauce, because Steve doesn’t like tomato skins. However, this was a waste of time because he didn’t like the sauce anyway! He wasn’t keen on the balsamic vinegar, but I really liked it. I’ve got loads of sauce leftover, which I was going to use as a pasta sauce or to top a pizza, but I’ll have to think of a different way to use it up!

I was going to serve it with mashed potatoes, but I decided that since I had the oven on, I’d cook up some nice rosemary and garlic potatoes instead as they will cook at the same time.

  • Serves: 6
  • Oven temperature: Gas mark 5/375°F/190°C
  • You will need: a large roasting tray (lined with foil to make cleaning up easier)

Ingredients:
  • 2kg ripe cherry tomatoes
  • 2 each fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs and bay leaves (I used 1 dried bay leaf)
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 12 good quality Cumberland or coarse Italian sausages
  • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • Balsamic vinegar for drizzling

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to Gas mark 5/375°F/190°C.
  2. Find the largest roasting tray you can – make sure it’s large enough to take the tomatoes in 1 snug-fitting layer.
  3. Put in all your tomatoes, the herb sprigs, oregano, garlic and sausages.
  4. Drizzle well with the oil and balsamic vinegar. Toss together, then make sure the sausages are on top.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, then give the pan a shake and turn the sausages.
  6. Return to the oven for a further 20-30 minutes, depending on how golden you like your sausages (I put the sausages on the top shelf for the second half of cooking).
  7. Once it’s cooked, you will have an intense, tomatoey sauce. If it’s a little too thin (mine was quite watery), lift out the sausages and place the tray on the hob for 5 minutes to cook it down to a thicker consistency.*

* I didn’t think my sausages were very brown, so I added them to the pan that my potatoes were cooking in and turned the oven up to Gas 8 and cooked for another 10 minutes. For the sauce, I poured it into a saucepan and cooked on the hob for 5 minutes (only because I didn’t think my roasting tin could take the heat on the hob!). I also added about a teaspoon of sugar to balance out the vinegar. I then used a hand blender to blitz the sauce, then passed it through a sieve. To serve, I ladled some sauce onto a plate, placed the sausages on top and scattered the potatoes around the plate.

For the Rosemary and Garlic Potatoes:
Allow 3-4 new potatoes per person. Wash and dry them, then cut them into roughly 1cm pieces. Place them in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil until nicely coated and add a couple of cloves of chopped garlic and about a tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary. Put into a roasting tin or ovenproof frying pan and bake in the oven on the top shelf (at the same time and temperature as the sausages), turning occasionally.

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