Now his favourite thing would probably be a stew, but that's not greeted with the same level of enthusiasm by the rest of the family, so instead I went for the next option on the list - spicy sausage pasta.
Everyone loves spicy sausage pasta - it's been a universal hit ever since I found the recipe in One Year At Books For Cooks (1996!)
I'm ashamed to say lack of glossy, tempting photos meant this little paperback sat unloved on a shelf for years. How it escaped the charity shop/car boot sweep I'll never know, but SO glad it did.
The sausage pasta has been adapted over time - dressed up, dressed down and made more child-friendly. But I always try to add the chopped rosemary and fennel seeds. I'm pretty sure they give this pasta dish the edge.
Pack of 6/8 good meaty sausages
1 onion chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 heaped teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary
1 heaped teaspoon of fennel seeds
2 dried chillies crumbled (or 1...or none)
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
2 heaped tablespoons of creme fraiche
about 100g of grated parmesan
A good sauce-holding pasta like penne
Fry the onions until soft in a little olive oil, then add the sausages with skins removed (cut the skin along the length of the sausage and peel off) Stir to break up the sausagemeat, but don't overdo it.
Cook for about 10 minutes and drain off any excess fat. Now turn the heat down and add the garlic, rosemary, fennel seeds and the dried chilli, if you're using it. (Two for punchy hot - one for warmth. I put one in when I make it for a family meal and the kids don't seem to have noticed...all part of my master plan for chilli domination.. )
Cook slowly with the herbs and spices for another 10 minutes, then stir in the tin of chopped tomatoes.
Bring to the boil and simmer gently while you cook the pasta. The original recipe uses penne, but any you have in the cupboard should do.
When the pasta's almost cooked, take the sauce off the heat, add the creme fraiche, give it a good stir before tipping in the drained pasta and half the parmesan.
Serve straightaway with the rest of the cheese.
Perfect comfort food. Whatever the weather.