Pic of Sausage and caramelised red onion pasta with mushrooms and rosemary

Sausage and caramelised red onion pasta with mushrooms and rosemary

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Meat mains

Sausage and caramelised red onion pasta with mushrooms and rosemary

Main Serves 2 40 min
This is a simple pasta dish with big flavours. Earthy mushrooms and slow cooked soft red onions are flavoured with sun-dried tomatoes and aromatic rosemary. Tossed with penne and crumbled and fried herby sausage meat from our farm butchery,this makes for a hearty supper.

Cook's notes

Sausages with their skins removed and the meat crumbled or chopped can be fried off pretty quickly for a quick mid-week meal. It's a good addition to pasta or risotto, and can also be used to top pizza. If you make this again and are on a budget, add some cooked puy-style lentils to stretch the meat out further.


  • 2 large or 4 small red onions
  • oil for frying e.g. sunflower or light olive
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • 10g fresh rosemary
  • 20g sun-dried tomatoes
  • 200g mushrooms
  • 30g parsley
  • 4 pork and herb sausages
  • 200g penne pasta
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 25g Parmesan, grated
  • salt and pepper
Image of Sausage and caramelised red onion pasta with mushrooms and rosemary


Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 35 min
  • Step 1

    Peel, halve and finely slice the red onions. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and light brown sugar, with a pinch of salt. Cook very gently on your lowest heat possible for 30 minutes, stirring now and then to stop them catching. You want them to be very soft at the end of cooking, but not to catch and burn. Add a splash of water if needed, to prevent them burning.
  • Step 2

    As soon as the onions go in the pan, put a large pan of well salted water on to boil for the pasta. Pick the leaves off 1 good sprig of rosemary. Finely chop them so they look like breadcrumbs. Add the rosemary to the onions as soon as you've chopped it. Finely chop the sun-dried tomatoes. Add them to the onion pan too.
  • Step 3

    Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp piece of kitchen paper or clean cloth. Thinly slice them. Wash and shake the parsley dry. Chop the leaves. Remove the skins from the sausages and crumble or chop up the meat.
  • Step 4

    Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the mushrooms. Fry until lightly coloured and softened. Take the pan off the heat and transfer the mushrooms to a plate or bowl. Wipe the frying pan out or give it a quick wash.
  • Step 5

    Add a splash more oil to the pan. Add the sausage meat. Cook for 5 minutes or so, initially on a higher heat to give it a little colour, then a little lower to cook the meat through. Keep to one side.
  • Step 6

    Once the pan of water is boiling, add the pasta. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until just tender. Drain and keep to one side. Tossing it in a little olive oil will help prevent it from sticking together, if you have any.
  • Step 7

    Once the onions have cooked for 30 minutes, stir in the balsamic vinegar. Add the cooked sausage meat, mushrooms and pasta. Gently warm it all through. Stir in most of the Parmesan and parsley, keeping a little to garnish. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve topped with the remaining Parmesan and parsley.

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