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  • Mimi’s Pasta & Sausage Bake by Miriam Cooper

    Mimi’s Pasta Sausage Bake by Miriam Cooper
    Miriam is the founder of Mimi’s Bowl. She cooks modern baby and toddler recipes from her home in West London. She is mum to her 7 year old little girl and 3 year old baby boy. Miriam blogs and posts daily about what they eat at home. She shares her honest experiences of cooking at home for her family; whilst offering parent cooking hacks and recipes. Her mission is to end “babyfood panic”, an anxiety about how to feed your baby and what to feed your baby.
    A simple pasta bake is a weeknight staple in our house because I can prep it ahead and assemble everything into one oven-proof dish. After the rush from the school gates to home, everything is then ready to go for dinner, with minimum hassle. I would serve this with green peas or green beans.
    Ingredients:
    - 10 Provenance kids sausages
    - 2 tablespoons olive oil
    - 1 organic onion, peeled and finely diced
    - 1 stick of celery, trimmed and finely diced
    - 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced
    - 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
    - 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, one finely chopped and one broken into small sprigs
    - 2 400g tins organic plum tomatoes 
    - 1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
    - 250g dried rigatoni pasta
    - 1 ball mozzarella (125g)
    Method:
    Pre-heat the oven to 180C (fan oven).
    To make the homemade tomato sauce:
    take a shallow pan and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the diced onion, celery and carrot. Sauté the vegetables gently over a medium heat for 10 mins, until softened. Next, add the crushed garlic and chopped rosemary, stir continuously for 1-2 mins. Pour in the plum tomatoes and add 1/2 a can of cold water. Bring up to a gentle boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 mins, the sauce will cook through and reduce. To finish the sauce, add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, then season with salt & pepper. Once cool, you can also blend with a hand blender until smooth and set aside. I skip this step and prefer the sauce to have texture, so this is completely optional.
    Cook the pasta:
    Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the rigatoni, according to the instructions. Undercook the pasta by 2 minutes, so that it is truly al-dente, as the pasta will continue to cook when you bake it in the oven. Once the pasta has reached al-dente, drain and discard the cooking water. Set aside.
    Cook the meatballs:
    Whilst the pasta is cooking, take a shallow pan and add a little oil. Take each sausage and press the meat out of the skin. Rolling the sausage meat into a mini meatball. Each Provenance kids sausage should give you 2 mini meatballs. Add them to the pan and brown lightly on each side, in batches (5-8 mins each). Set aside the browned sausage meatballs on a warm plate.
    Assemble the pasta bake: 
    Take an oven proof dish and a little tomato sauce to the bottom. Next add the al-dente pasta and dot with the browned meatballs. Once all the pasta and meatballs have been added to the dish, in an even layer, pour over the remaining tomato sauce. Finally, add slices of mozzarella to top the dish and finish with small sprigs of rosemary. If preparing ahead, set-aside the dish to cool now. Cover and refrigerate. 
    Cook the pasta bake:
    Drizzle the top of the dish with one tablespoon of olive oil. Place the pasta bake in the centre of the oven at 180C (fan oven) for 25 mins until bubbling and golden. The mini meatballs should be cooked through and the top lightly browned, the mozzarella melted. Cool a little and serve alongside green vegetables.
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