I can't tell you how much I love this dish! I sometimes exchange the cheese for homemade Kofte, but using Macroom Buffalo Haloumi is a really great substitute for a Meat Free feast!
We've all been there…a great BBQ was had by all, but there was too much food bought/brought and nobody ate as much as they thought they could handle, and as a result you have been left with a load of cooked sausages. What to do with them? There's only so many sausage sandwiches one can eat after all! Well, I can help you out of your conundrun!
I can’t tell you how much I love this dish! I sometimes exchange the cheese for homemade Kofte, but using Macroom Buffalo Haloumi is a really great substitute for a Meat Free feast!
There are a few elements to this dish, but actually if you follow the sequence in the method, you’ll find that it’ll all be done in under 40 minutes. Also worth noting is that this sauce will make more than you need, but don’t fret – this sauce goes with everything! Just portion off what you don’t use for this and use for a quick and easy pasta dish another night!
Two tins of tomatoes
1 medium red onion, finely diced
Olive oil and a generous knob of butter
1 large aubergine, sliced into rounds
1 or 2 egg whites
Panko breadcrumbs, seasoned with black pepper
1 pack of Macroom Buffalo Halloumi, slice in half length ways
Green herby pesto: either homemade or a good quality shop bought one
In a deep saucepan, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and the butter. Gently fry off the onion until its softened but not taken on any colour. Add the tomatoes and cook for at least 30 mins on a low heat, stirring every so often.
While the sauce is cooking, place the aubergine slices in a colander and salt over generously. Set aside.
When the sauce is cooked, place everything into a blender a wiz until super smooth. Check for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper. Place back in the saucepan ready to warm through.
Pat the aubergine slices with kitchen paper, then brush both sides with the egg white. Pane on one side only with the breadcrumbs.
In a large heavy based frying pan, heat some oil and then cook the aubergine slices on the naked side first, then flip and cook through on the crumbed side until golden brown. Set aside.
Warm through the sauce until it just begins to bubble.
Prepare the halloumi with a light brush of oil and sprinkle a small amount of dried oregano on both sides. Fry off until golden brown in the frying pan used for the aubergines.
Spoon a generous amount of the tomato sauce onto a place and frame with slices of the aubergine. Place the halloumi in the middle of the tomato sauce and top with a spoonful of pesto.
We’ve all been there…a great BBQ was had by all, but there was too much food bought/brought and nobody ate as much as they thought they could handle, and as a result you have been left with a load of cooked sausages. What to do with them? There’s only so many sausage sandwiches one can eat after all! Well, I can help you out of your conundrun!
The recipe below is a variation of a “Pasta al Forno” dish that was published in Olive Magazine in 2013. I have included a note after this recipe on how to make the original which is also yummy and appears regularly in my repertoire for fast, tasty weekday food!
Ingredients (serves 2-4, depending on appetite!):
Cooked sausages (enough for two per adult) cut lengthways and quartered 1tsbp of fennel seeds 1 clove of garlic 2-4 dried chilli pods (depending on your need for heat!) 2 tblsp of tomato puree 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes 1 large / 2 small red bell peppers 1 tblsp of fresh chopped rosemary (if you only have dried use 1/2 tblsp) 50g pasta per person Some cheese for grating over: Pecorino / Parmesan / Gran Padano etc Freshly cracked black pepper and sea salt to season Method:
Place a pan of salted water on the heat for the pasta.
Dry roast the fennel seeds slightly for a few minutes, careful not to burn them. Pop the fennel seeds, chilli pods and garlic in a pestle and mortar and bash together. Heat a small lug of olive oil in a frying pan to a medium heat and pop in the fennel/chili/garlic mix. Cook off for a couple of minutes. Add the tomato puree and mix in with the aromatics; cook out for a minute or two. Add in the tinned tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile prepare you red peppers by deseeding, taking out the pith and cutting into roughyl 2cm pieces. Add to the pan and stir. Add in your chopped sausages, turn the heat down and cook through until bubbling. If the sauce becomes a little dry, add some water a little at a time. I use the tomato tin to get any left over tomato juice as well. Place the pasta in to the boiling water. In the picture below I have used wholewheat pasta, but any pasta you have will do as long as it’s not the miniature stuff! Chop the rosemary and add to the sausage mix along with a decent grind of fresh black pepper and some sea salt to season. Stir and cook through. Drain the pasta. Check the sausage mix for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Pour the sausage mix into the pasta; mix together and serve immediately on warmed plates. Grate over a generous amount of the cheese and serve with a simple leaf salad with lemon dressing to freshen the palate. And Enjoy….!
The original recipe in Olive Magazine is for Rigatoni al Forno. Using pretty much the same ingredients but with fresh, high meat content sausages (I like to use Gubeen Italian Sausages to enhance the fennel seed and garlic flavours) and rigatoni pasta the following method would apply:
Deskin the sausages and place into a medium hot pan, cooking and breaking down the sausages as you go with the wooden spoon. Then add the aromatic mix above with the rosemary; tinned tomatoes and puree, cook through. Add salt and pepper at the end. Cook the rigatoni. Mix the pasta and meat mix together and place in a lasagne disj (or similar). Grate 100g of Gran Padano over the top and then grill until the cheese melts and browns. Al Forno literally means “from the fire” and this is where this dish is served straight from the grill / oven etc straight to the table still all hot and bubbling. People then help themselves!