The original recipe for Bangers Bolognese comes from the Time Saving Tips Chapter of The A-Z of Food (1977). I wanted to make it purely for the name alone. The British habit of calling sausages bangers is adorable even if the origin of the name is kind of unsavoury. According to the ever reliable (ahem) Wikipedia, meat shortages during World War One lead to sausages being made with such a low meat content and such a high water content that they would sometimes explode when cooked. They were literally bangers! Best not to ask what actually went into them…..
The A-Z recipe for Bangers Bolognese was kind of gross though. Chopped up sausages…oops, bangers in a sauce made out of tinned tomato soup. I have an aversion to tinned tomato soup stemming back from school days. One time (not at band camp) my school tuck shop ran out of ketchup and instead of buying more, used tinned tomato soup as the condiment for the day. It was disgusting! And put me off tinned tomato soup for life!
So, I thought, what would happen if I took the idea of Bangers Bolognese but omitted the awful tomato soup component for something a bit more amenable to the modern palate? The result is a recipe remedy which is absolutely delicious!
I used chorizo for my bangers but feel free to use your favorite sausage. Without wanting to sound too snooty about it, this is really a recipe where using the highest quality of sausage you can afford will result in a better tasting dish.
Here’s the original for anyone that cares to eat sausages cooked in tomato soup:
Before we get to my tweaked version of Bangers Bolognese, lets take a trip in the way back machine to 1968 when Margaret Fulton had to show the unworldly Australian public how to twirl spaghetti like an urbane Italian. Beware though, the next set of photos contain both werewolfy hairy arms and super pointy 1960’s nails.
You have been warned.
Okay, so now you know how to twirl pasta like a pro lets update this beast. No tomato soup in sight!
- 4 high quality sausages of your choice, the spicier the better
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 sprigs of thyme
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 400g can tomatoes
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 400g spaghetti
- Cheese - parmesan is traditional however for extra creaminess, Donna Hay suggests using Buffalo Mozzarella
- Parsley and additional chilli flakes to garnish.
- Remove the casings from the sausages.
- Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the sausages, chilli, onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until the onions and garlic are softened.
- Add the wine, tomatoes, sugar and herbs.
- Reduce the heat to low and bring to a simmer.
- Cover with a lid and cook for 1/2 and hour or longer until the sauce is reduced.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente.
- Drain well.
- Toss the pasta with the bolognese mixture, top with cheese, parsley and chilli flakes.