This spring, we were living in a rented house for a month while our own house underwent major renovations following a bad water leak last year. I was in a new kitchen with hardly any of my own equipment and a dodgy oven, the kids had to be collected from creche after a long day, I had nothing in the house for dinner and absolutely no desire to cook that night. Just as I was about to ring up the take-away, I remembered Domini Kemp’s recipe for balsamic roast chicken with rocket, roast tomatoes and Parmesan. A five-minute pit stop at the grocery store later, I had everything I needed for a lovely dinner that only took a few minutes to pull together back in the kitchen.
This recipe is very similar to that one. It’s the perfect quick weekday dinner, Irish artisan style. I made this for my demo at the Totally Tipperary food festival last weekend, and at first I started to worry that such a simple dish didn’t warrant being demonstrated, but then I figured that this recipe ticks a lot of the boxes I’m always on the lookout for — fast, easy, kid friendly, but most of all, delicious. I also liked the fact that it was something people at the festival could make for their dinner that night, seeing as how Una O’Dwyer and The Scullery both had stalls there, meaning they’d only need to stop at the store to pick up some cherry tomatoes on their way home. It’s a great recipe to have up your sleeve for times when you just can’t face the kitchen but still want something tasty and home cooked.
Sweet Chilli Sausages with a Tomato, Chilli and Coriander Sauce
Don’t worry about the sausages or the sauce being too zippy — both were more sweet than spicy. If you can’t get Una O’Dwyer’s sweet chilli sausages, use any good-quality sausage, or even chicken fillets or thighs. And if you can’t get The Scullery’s tomato, chilli and coriander sauce, try adding a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to the cherry tomatoes at the start of the cooking time instead. Una O’Dwyer also makes a sundried tomato and basil sausage that would work well in this dish paired with a plain tomato sauce to give a more Mediterranean flavour. Basically it’s the kind of recipe that can be easily adapted to suit whatever you have on hand or whatever flavours you like.
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) cherry tomatoes
8 to 12 Una O’Dwyer Sweet Chilli Sausages (or any good-quality sausage)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 x 280 g (10 0z) jar of The Scullery Tomato, Chilli and Coriander Sauce
1 red chilli, thinly sliced, to garnish
chopped fresh coriander, to garnish
crusty bread, to serve
green salad, to serve
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
Place the tomatoes and sausages in a large roasting tray or casserole dish, one that can more or less fit all the tomatoes in one layer (or you could use individual casserole dishes or divide everything between two trays/dishes if you don’t have one that’s big enough). Drizzle well with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper, then make sure the sausages are on top. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, then turn the sausages over. Continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes more, depending on how well done and crispy you like your sausages.
Once the sausages are done, remove them from the roasting tray and set aside. Add the jar of sweet chilli, tomato and coriander sauce to the tomatoes and their juices in the roasting tray and stir to combine. Return the tray to the oven for 5 minutes to heat through. If you think the sauce is a little too thin, place the tray on the hob to cook it down to the consistency you like. Check the seasoning.
Divide the tomatoes and sauce between 4 shallow bowls and allow 2 or 3 sausages per person. Sprinkle some sliced chillies and chopped fresh coriander on top. Serve with a good crusty bread to mop up all that sauce and a green salad.