Recipe of the week: Sausage, tomato & gnocchi bake

Welcome to week two of The HotHouse Kitchen. This week I’m sharing three recipes: Pepperoni and Avocado Linguine, Sausage, Gnocchi & Tomato Bake and Roast Tomato Soup.

The pasta isn’t haute, but it’s the youngest’s favourite thing I cook. I used to make it with bacon, then chorizo, but both are off the table now because the youngest won’t eat sugar and just about every brand of bacon and chorizo on the market contains dextrose or sucrose. Instead, we make it with Organic Patagonian Yak Pastrami obtained from Harris Farm at vast expense. OK, that’s a joke, other than the vast expense at Harris Farm bit – it’s actually called Wood Smoked Chilli Croatian Pepperoni.

The eldest hates the pasta. His favourite dish is roast tomato soup. So I figured that cooking for someone else was the perfect opportunity to make extra and please both my kids.

The gnocchi bake recipe was inspired by a dish I saw in a Woolies magazine – pictured above. I tweaked it a little to suit my kids’ tastes, but you might prefer the original.

Sausage, gnocchi & tomato bake

Olive oil

4 yummy thick sausages from your butcher (I used pork & veal – go for something with lots of flavour)

1 large onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 large carrot, diced

1 large zucchini, diced

500g supermarket-bought fresh gnocchi

1 large jar of passata with Italian herbs

Fresh thyme

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Grated mozzarella

Baby spinach leaves to serve

METHOD: Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausages and flick the meat into the pan in about 10-12 pieces per sausage. Add onion, garlic and diced veggies and cook for 4 minutes until sausage is browned and onion is translucent. Stir in passata and fresh thyme and cook for a further 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a baking dish, sprinkle with grated mozzarella and bake until cheese is melted and bubbling. Remove from oven and serve with baby spinach leaves.

Roast tomato soup

Olive oil

1kg roma tomatoes, halved

1 white onion, peeled and quartered

2 garlic cloves, smashed

4 fresh thyme sprigs

1teaspoon brown sugar 

2 semi-soft sun dried tomatoes

1 tablespoon barbecue sauce

1 litre chicken stock

salt & freshly ground black pepper

Fresh bread cob or garlic bread to serve

METHOD: Combine the tomatoes, onion and garlic in a mixing bowl and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay out on a baking tray and sprinkle with the thyme and sugar. Roast in the oven at 180°C until caramelized.

Tip the roasted tomatoes and flavourings into a saucepan, discarding any woody thyme stalks. Add the stock, bring to the boil, add the semi-soft sun-dried tomatoes and barbecue sauce and cook for 5 minutes.

Blend with a stick blender until smooth and creamy. Pass the soup through a sieve into a clean pan or bowl, rubbing with the back of a ladle. taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve with fresh bread or garlic bread.

Chorizo & avocado pasta

Terrible old picture below, forgot to take a new one.

375g fresh linguine or fettucine

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

1-2 chorizo sausages, depending on your affection for cured meats, diced; or bacon if you’re not a spice fan, or 3 sticks of the Chilli Croatian one

1 carton of Carnation cooking cream (or 300ml of lite cream – which I used this time because my Carnation was over-expiry)

Optional chilli

Salt & pepper to taste

1 ripe avocado, diced

Rocket or baby spinach, optional

Parmesan to serve

METHOD: Bring water to a boil for linguine. Stir fry chorizo until golden, add onion and garlic and saute until translucent. Season with salt, pepper or chilli depending on taste. Add Carnation cooking cream and bring to gentle simmer. Cook linguine according to packet directions. Drain and add to the sauce. Gently stir through avocado and also some rocket/spinach if you want to up your greens. Serve in bowls sprinkled with parmesan.

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