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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Pappardelle Pasta with Tuna and Tomatoes


Fresh tuna steak is so much more readily available these days. Low in fat, high in protein and versatile, here we accompany it with fresh pappardelle pasta.

Dawn: Pappadelle? I don’t think I have used that before.

Andrew: It is a wider and slightly thicker version of tagliatelle, basically. It also looks good in the ‘verde’ version, which is coloured with spinach.

Dawn: One to make with my pasta machine then!


Serves 2

2 tuna steaks

2 large spring onions, sliced finely

1 clove garlic, crushed or finely sliced

1 chilli, deseeded and chopped (optional)

8-10 baby plum tomatoes

100g fresh papardelle per person

Andrew: Chilli is a great option here for a winter evening.

Dawn: Ginger is also an optional ingredient for those who like a Thai taste to their cooking, with a little lime juice, too.


  • While the fish and vegetables cook, put a pan of salted water on to boil and cook pasta as per the packet instructions.
  • Fry the tuna steak in a pan in a little olive oil.
  • Turn after about 3 minutes and cook through.
  • As you turn the tuna, add the onions, garlic and chilli to the same pan, around the tuna.
  • After a further 3 minutes, when the tuna is cooked, gently break it up with a fork.
  • Add the plum tomatoes, a splash of water (or if feeling a little decadent, a splash of white wine).
  • Cover and steam for a minute, allowing the tomatoes to ‘pop’.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the pan and stir gently so there is an even spread of tuna and tomatoes.
  • Serve with a green salad.

Andrew: A super supper, wouldn’t you agree, Dawn?

Dawn: I would, especially as there are so many potential variations on this too. 

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Spaghetti with Butternut Squash, Mushrooms and Broad Beans


Butternut squash is a wonderfully versatile vegetable, especially tasty if you have vegetarian friends to dinner. Here is a simple and economical supper for family or friends to enjoy.

Dawn: Mmm! Butternut squash! Last seen here being roasted at Christmas.

Andrew: Here it is steamed to soften it up, then sautéed with the other vegetables.

Dawn: Steaming is a way of preserving all the vitamins in vegetables, which are so often just boiled away.


Serves 4

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-1.5cm cubes

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 chilli (optional) deseeded and finely chopped

1 tsp of basil, oregano or herbes de Provence

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 red pepper, deseeded and finely sliced

100g mushrooms of your choice, sliced

200g frozen broad beans, defrosted

75 g spaghetti per person

1 tbsp ricotta, cream cheese or creme-fraiche

Olive oil for cooking

Salt and pepper to season

Andrew: It is possible to buy the butternut squash already prepared.

Dawn: However, it is more economical to do it yourself. Hard work if you don’t have a good peeler, but well worth it for the texture and taste.


  • Steam the squash for 5 minutes. If you don’t have a fan steamer, a colander over a pan of simmering water, covered with a lid, will do just as well.
  • Allow the squash to cool otherwise it may burn of catch in the pan.
  • Put on a pan of water to boil, then add salt , and cook your spaghetti according to instructions while you cook the vegetables.
  • In a frying pan, heat a little olive oil on a medium heat, and fry the onion gently until it begins to turn transparent.
  • Add the garlic,chilli and herbs and allow the flavour to permeate the pan by moving them around. Don’t let the garlic burn.
  • Next the squash can be added keeping it moving so the cubes colour on each side.
  • Add the pepper and cook for a further couple of minutes so that it softens.
  • Now the broad beans may be added, squeezed out of their outer skins for a more jewel like quality or left for a bit more bite.
  • Allow to heat through, then add the mushrooms and cook until they are soft and golden to your taste.
  • Drain the cooked spaghetti, then add to the pan with the cooked vegetables and stir well.
  • Finally mix in the cheese or creme-fraiche and serve.

Dawn: What was the cost of this per portion?

Andrew: Just over £1.50 each I believe. Of course you can substitute other vegetables too.

Dawn: Economy and seasonality! Two of our buzz words!

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