June 7, 2015
Sticky and sweet thyme-roasted parsnip and sausage pasta recipe
Like all the best fridge suppers, this sausage pasta recipe was a very happy accident. Parsnip and carrots, foraged from the salad drawer, cubed and slicked with olive oil. Bullets of sausage meat, shining with the sticky sweetness of a balsamic glaze. Earthy herbiness snipped from the thyme plant in the garden. All tempered with a creamy dollop of Philadelphia, smooth and quick and easy.
I use thyme with sweet things a lot – in The Herb and Flower Cookbook there’s a variant of Summer Pudding that sings with thyme sprigs, and a fruit salad where the sticky syrup is brought down a note or two with the stuff. Here, in this pasta dish, parsnips, carrots and balsamic all have a sweet palate, and thyme bridges the gap to the sausages beautifully.
Cooking time: 30 minutes
2 parsnips, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, peeled and cubed
2-3 thyme sprigs
4 pork sausages
2 shallots, peeled and sliced
1 small red chilli, deseeded and sliced
4 mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 1/2 tbsp. balsalmic vinegar
Cream cheese to serve
Heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Put a glug of olive oil a roasting dish and heat well. Add the cubed parsnips and carrots along with the leaves from the thyme sprigs and roast for 30 minutes, giving a good stir half way through.
Meanwhile, squeeze the meat from the sausages. Heat another glug of oil in a large saucepan and add the sausage meat, shallots and chilli. Cook for just under 10 minutes on a medium heat, stirring and using your wooden spoon to break up the meat chunks as much as possible. Add the mushrooms and balsamic, stir to coat everything and simmer for gently for another 5 minutes.
At the same time, get a pan of boiling water on the go, add your final glug of olive oil and the pasta. Boil for 10-12 minutes, or according to packet instructions. Drain well and tip into the sausage mixture, adding the carrots and parsnips.
Divide between two plates, adding a dollop or two of cream cheese to the top of each pile of pasta. Serve immediately.