Oh! I Have a Recipe For: Speedy Sausage and Tomato Bake

In this column, Scout contributor and food enthusiast Maciel Pereda shares her personal recipes aimed at solving everyday cooking conundrums. Possibilities are endless, ingredients are local, and cravings are always respected. Today Maciel shares a simple five-ingredient recipe that’s exponentially more impressive…

The phrase “worth more than the sum of its parts” might have been coined in reference to this exact meal. How can cherry tomatoes, herbs, sausages (granted, absolutely delicious sausages) and bread come together in such a short period of time, to make…this? The dish that, when I first served it on a weeknight to a friend (while trying to appear the least beleaguered as possible for a working parent), was met with an awed, “This is SO good! Is it literally just roasted sausages and tomatoes?” (My answer affirmed it indeed was!)

How can five ingredients become so luscious when roasted together for such a brief spell of time? Not only that, but how can they look so rustically impressive, scale up so easily, and represent an entire meal, if needed? (I often add greenery of some variety, but that should only be construed as a suggestion, perhaps for those with a surplus of energy.) Always keeping a pack of good-quality sausages in your freezer can make this dinner come together very snappily, as they can be defrosted quite a bit more quickly than other frozen meats.

Speedy Sausage and Tomato Bake
Serves 3-4 (can be easily doubled or tripled)

These ingredients and steps (before they were fused to my brain) were adapted from the recipe entitled ‘Sweet Cherry Tomato and Sausage Bake’ from Jamie At Home – a tome which used to leave me earnestly longing for a bucolic life of squash harvesting and lamb shearing:

6 large fresh sausages (bangers, bratwurst, or sweet Italian styles all work well)
2 pints cherry tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
Small handful of hearty herbs (sprigs of thyme, rosemary, and oregano are all welcome!)
Plenty of decent olive oil (start with ~ ½ cup and scale as needed)
Crusty bread, to serve

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (perhaps 375 if you have a blisteringly hot oven). In a large shallow baking dish, lay the sausages down in an even layer; scatter the tomatoes and smashed garlic to fill the spaces around and between the sausages. Top with the herbs and generously drizzle the whole thing with olive oil – you want everything to be slicked and lazily wallowing in a shallow pool of oil. Sprinkle with plenty of flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper, then pop into the oven and roast for 25-40 minutes (depending on how plump your sausages are). You can flip the sausages halfway through cooking if you like them to look more evenly browned on each side, but personally I truly can’t be bothered. The end result should be delightfully burnished sausages surrounded by pools of herb-scented oil and oozing cherry tomatoes collapsed within their skins. Serve immediately with plenty of crusty bread for mopping and sopping.

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