One Pot Sausage Pasta Bake - baked sausages in a rich tomato pasta sauce packed with vegetables, then topped with feta and basil pesto, all in one pan.
Preheat oven to 180c (350f).
Add chicken stock (500ml/2 cups), orzo (250g/8oz), passata (400g/14oz) and dried basil (1 tsp), oregano (1 tsp) & garlic powder (½ tsp) to pan with capsicum and stir well. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven, meanwhile increasing oven temperature to 200c (395f) then add baby spinach (60g/2oz) to the tomato mixture and stir well to mix the orzo again and wilt the spinach.
Lay sausages (8) on top of tomato and spinach mixture, then bake uncovered for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and turn the sausages over. Then roughly scatter the cherry tomatoes (250g/9oz) over the top and bake uncovered for a further 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven, top with crumbled danish feta (70g), drizzle with basil pesto (3 tbsp) and scatter over fresh basil leaves (if using) to serve.
I have used pork sausages, but you could use any flavour thick style sausage you like. I'm thinking italian sausages would be good!
Please don't be tempted to leave off the danish feta and basil pesto - in my opinion, these ingredients really bring this pasta bake to life. For small ingredients they add bags of flavour! In the recipe I have listed 3 tablespoons of pesto - this is really a guide. You could go more or less, depending on your taste. I always go more!
Speaking of my opinion...I have said it before, and I will say it again...I promise you will not be sorry if you go to the (small) effort to make your own basil pesto. If you haven't yet, you don't know what you're missing! It tastes so much better than store-bought, and no weird ingredients! Plus it keeps for ages in the fridge. I make up a batch, then keep it in an airtight container in the fridge, with a thin layer of olive oil over the surface to keep it fresh.
Passata is a thick tomato puree (not tomato paste), basically like canned tomatoes that have already been pureed. It works really well in recipes like this because you get a thick, rich tomato based sauce without the extra cooking time that would be needed for canned tomatoes.
*Please note that the amount of calories per serve is provided as a guide only, as ingredients and cooking methods can vary greatly*