Simple Rustic Tomato Sauce


This is one of the easiest and most economical dishes we know. It can be produced using store cupboard ingredients, and is incredibly flexible, served as a pasta sauce, on top of rice, as a pizza topping or as an alternative to ketchup with fish or steak.

Dawn: Is this another of your student specials?

Andrew: It is! By seeking out the discount ranges, a meal for four can be produced for about a pound! 

Dawn: A bargain!


Serves 2 as a pasta sauce

1 red or white onion, roughly chopped

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp chilli flakes

1 tin of tomatoes

Olive oil for frying


  • Over a medium heat and in a little olive oil, cook the onion for 5 minutes until it turns translucent.
  • Add the garlic, chilli and basil and cook for a further minute.
  • Now pour in the tin of tomatoes and turn the heat to a low simmer.
  • Stirring occasionally, allow the sauce to thicken over half an hour or so. This will allow the flavours to develop and the sauce to turn a deep shade of red.
  • When cooked it can be served as warm with pasta, or allowed to cool it can be used as an accompaniment.

Dawn: Can we be flexible with the herbs and spices, too?

Andrew: We can. Whatever is to hand can be used. If we were Italian of course we would be using fresh ripe tomatoes!

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Potato Bread


Top of the mornin ‘to you! It’s St Patrick’s Day! And what a fabulous feeling it must be in Dublin this morning! A certain Mr O’Driscoll may be quite excused a few glasses of the ‘Black Stuff ‘on his retirement; and what a way to go out!

Dawn: I haven’t the slightest idea what you are talking about!

Andrew: A few episodes of Father Ted and you will catch up!


Serves 4

2 lb potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 Egg, beaten
100g butter
3 tbsp flour
1.5 tbsp chopped parsley
1.5 tbsp chopped chives
1.5 tbsp chopped lemon thyme
A splash of milk
Salt and pepper
Seasoned flour
Bacon fat or butter


  • Boil the potatoes and mash straight away.
  • Add the egg, butter, flour and herbs and mix well.
  • Season with plenty of salt and pepper, adding a few drops of  milk if the mixture is too stiff.
  • Shape into a  2cm thick  circle and then cut into eight pieces.
  • Dip in seasoned flour.
  • Fry in bacon fat or melted butter on a gentle heat.
  • Cook the ‘bread’ until crusty and golden on one side and then flip over and cook on the other side 4-5 minutes on each side will do.
  • Can be served hot with a knob of butter melting on top, or cold.
  • Whichever option, a touch of the black stuff is a great idea!

Dawn: Sounds a lovely dish!

Andrew: Indeed it is! 

For more ideas for your suppers, lunches and dinners, follow us at and at @Love-Food_UK on Twitter,as well as our Facebook and Mumsnet accounts.

Rustic Sausage and Pepper Pappardelle


The humble sausage. Not the one with the very low meat content and tons of rusk and unmentionables, but a substantial and meat filled variety. It is part of the staple of many a European dinner table.

Andrew: Here we have used a really good pork sausage and red pepper to provide a robust and filling supper for a family. High meat content sausages hold their shape better here.

Dawn: Remember sausages were really developed as a way of making the meat go as far as it could. An excellent dish for economy. Also many sausages come already flavoured and make a wonderful variation on this dish. 


Serves 4

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely sliced

1 tsp chilli flakes

6 thick sausages

1 red pepper, deseeded and cubed

Olive oil for frying

Salt and pepper for seasoning

400g pappardelle pasta


  • In a frying pan, heat a little oil and fry the sausages for 10 minutes, turning frequently until well browned.
  • Using a fork and kitchen scissors, cut the sausages into 2cm lengths and allow to continue cooking, so the cut ends take on the same colour.
  • Add the onion to the pan at this stage and fry gently for five minutes until it starts to soften and turn translucent.
  • Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a further 30 seconds. Then the peppers go on and can be cooked until they soften too.
  • A splash of wine here, or even vodka, makes for a great flavour.
  • Meanwhile put a pan of salted water on to boil and cook the pappardelle according to instructions.
  • When the pasta is cooked, stir into the sausage mix,then serve in a large bowl so everyone can help themselves.

Andrew: This was very filling on a chilly late winter evening. 

Dawn: I like the vodka twist. The alcohol of course evaporates, but the flavour remains.

Andrew: Which reminds me! Coq au vin? 

Dawn: We had better cook that soon hadn’t we?

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