24 February 2011

cherry tomato and sausage bake

There are certain cooks out there who inspire me to no end, and Jamie Oliver leads the pack on this one. Besides his amazing cookbooks, his drool worthy TV cooking shows, and his always-a-hit recipes, his passion for feeding the world real, healthy food is beyond inspirational. 
I also love that his way of cooking teaches me something every time I read a recipe of his. Every time I make one, I feel I'm eating something of a revelation. Not trying to be overly goopy here, just sayin he's pretty amazing. This recipe is no exception to the rule. It is so simple, like beyond simple, like so simple I almost felt silly posting about it, but I loved it and I want to remember to cook like this more often. I've honestly never thought to cook sausages in the oven (always on the grill or sliced and in a pan).  Making this dish made me feel like I was cooking how I always want to cook, with Jamie of course!, and by putting a few fresh ingredients together and with little effort to create a supurbly delicious meal that lets the ingredients shine.
Since the ingredients are so few, I definitely suggest investing in some good (as in handmade) sausages, because they play such a crucial role in the recipe. I promise if you can find them,  they will be worth it. I also highly suggest investing in some delicious crusty bread for serving. You see polenta in the photo here, but I'm changing my mind, it's all about the bread! I also suggest using a pan that properly fits the amount you're making, you can see at the top there were a few burned spots, which wouldn't have happened with a bigger pan.

p.s. are we friends on twitter? I just joined and I'm totally obsessed!

cherry tomato and sausage bake
adapted from Jamie Oliver, Jamie At Home
also, here. I love the way Jamie's recipes are written out, as if you can hear him speaking to you.
serves 3-4 and is easily doubled

2 lbs ripe cherry tomatoes
1 fennel bulk, sliced (optional, I added it because I had it, and because I love fennel)
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp dried orgeano
6 good Italian sausages
extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Put the tomatoes, fennel, the herbs, oregano, garlic and sausages on a baking sheet or roasting pan so that the fit in one layer. Liberally drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Toss everything together, making sure the sausages end up on top. Bake for 30 minutes, then stir the vegetables and turn the sausages over. Put back into the oven for 15 to 30 minutes more.

After cooking, if the sauce is a little too thin, remove the sausages and place the pan on the stove to thicken, then put the sausages back in. Check the seasoning and serve either with a good-quality loaf of bread warmed through in a low oven for 10 minutes or with mashed potatoes or polenta.

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