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  • Writer's pictureTina Brand

Finders Keepers: British food writer Diana Henry's Salsiccia con patate e pomodori al forno

I've been cooking for an elderly friend each week during Covid19 and this weekly commitment has brought me pleasure and benefits.

One of which is actually looking again for new recipes to try, to add variety to my usual go-to weekly meals which my uncomplaining household responds kindly to every time. So you could say we are all reaping the rewards of my research.

Here's a quick and hearty recipe I cooked last night. It was rainy and chilly and felt like a good fit for such an evening. I made something vaguely like this many years ago, but Diana Henry's version is oomphed with chilli and fennel seeds. It was a yummy meal last night, accompanied by a heap of Chinese broccoli leaves, broccolini and zucchini.

Late this morning though, I pulled out the left overs, heated it gently and served it up with poached eggs, some parsley and arugula picked from the pots on the deck alongside. With a steaming cup of our favourite organic Timorese coffee, it was a delicious and hearty brunch.

I had to capture it here for you to try. It is from Diana Henry's cookbook From The Oven To The Table.


  • 8 chunky, spicy, good quality Italian sausages

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes ( you may want more if your sausages are not spicy)

  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds slightly bashed

  • 2 onions sliced fine

  • 450 g potatoes, cut lengthwise into thinnish pieces

  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced fine

  • 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced

  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper

  • 250 g chopped tomato

  • 30 g pecorino cheese, grated

  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley or fresh oregano leaves


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas mark 5.

  2. Cut each sausage into three, widthways. Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a wide, fairly shallow ovenproof dish or pan (about 30cm across). Quickly brown the sausages – just to get a bit of colour, not cook them through. 

  3. Add the chilli and fennel seeds and cook for another minute. Toss in the onions, potatoes, garlic and peppers and season. 

  4. Add another couple of tablespoons of olive oil (unless a lot of fat has come out of the sausages – some exude a lot, others don’t). Finish tossing, leaving most of the sausage lying on top.

  5. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Take the dish out of the oven and stir everything round. Put the tomatoes on top, season, sprinkle on the cheese and drizzle on a little more oil. 

  6. Put back in the oven and cook for another 30-40 minutes (or until everything is golden and the potatoes are soft), gently stirring in your herbs 10 minutes before the end. Serve from the dish.


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