Despite the simplicity of this dish it really showcases perfectly ripe cherry tomatoes; excellent when the garden is overflowing and you’re trying to think of recipes to use them all! One of our butchers does great, meaty and coarsely filled chipolata sausages which we used here, but Cumberland or coarse Italian ones work just as well. Leftovers make a great pasta sauce (see below).
It’s might be a bit early yet for Irish garden tomatoes but our friend Patty, who has just left Ireland to become the Garden Program Director at the University of the Pacific in Stockton California, has a huge tomato glut. So we promised a tomato recipe to help Patty, Michael, and the rest of the staff use up all the tomatoes.
Wine suggestion: Great with a robust and juicy red, don’t over complicate it and pick a moderately priced one. We’ve tried Southern Italian Primitivo’s, Barbera from the north, Cotes du Rhone, Spanish Tempranillo’s and Garnacha and a couple of juicy Aussie Shiraz’s. All work a treat. Californians won’t go wrong with a good Lodi Zin!
Sweet cherry tomato and sausage bake – serves 6
- 2kg ripe cherry tomatoes, mixed colours if you have them
- 2 sprigs each of thyme, rosemary & bay
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 12 good-quality sausages (see above)
- extra virgin olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5.
Put the tomatoes, herbs, oregano, garlic and sausages in a large roasting tray – big enough to take the tomatoes in a single layer. Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Toss together and make sure the sausages end up on the top, then bake for 30 minutes in the hot oven. Give the tin a good shake and turn the sausages over, then return to the oven for 15-30 minutes or until the sausages are at your desired level of stickiness (we like them pretty sticky!).
Lift the sausages out of the sauce, then put the tray on the hob and reduce the sauce to a nice thick consistency, before putting the sausages back in. Check the seasoning and serve with some warm bread and a green salad.
(Original recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Jamie at Home, Michael Joseph, 2007.)
Cherry tomato & sausage penne
As the bake makes loads just chop up the leftovers the next day and reheat to serve with penne or another chunky pasta like rigatoni or macaroni. Delicious altogether!