Gingergirl: Tasty bites on a budget

Helen Keown


Helen Keown


Gingergirl: Tasty bites on  a budget

Gingergirl's mouth-watering Italian dish is both tasty and cheap

I think most of us are more focused and aware of our food budget these days but this certainly does not mean that our meals should lose out in terms of quality or taste.

Ingredients such as pasta, tinned tomatoes, sausages or mince are very good value and offer lots of variation in terms of stews, lasagne, pasta bakes, Bolognese etc.

This rigatoni recipe is real comfort food (or as I like to call it ‘hug in a bowl’ food) at this time of year.

For more good value recipes go to

Sausage rigatoni

serves 4

1 tablespoon of olive oil

8 good quality thick pork sausages, skins removed and cut into bite-sized pieces

2 garlic cloves, crushed

200ml of white wine

1 tablespoon of tomato purée

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

500g pack of rigatoni pasta

A handful basil leaves, torn

Parmesan, to serve

* Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based pan and add the sausages. Fry over a medium heat until golden and cooked through. Tip in the garlic and fry for another minute. Pour in the white wine and boil until it has reduced by half. Stir in the tomato purée and tomatoes, and season to taste. Simmer for 15 mins until the sauce has thickened.

* While the sauce cooks, boil the pasta according to pack instructions and drain. Stir the basil and cooked pasta into the sauce and enjoy with some grated parmesan.

* Feel free to add some mushrooms or diced aubergienes to the sauce, for a hearty feast. A teaspoon of smoked paprika or some fresh chilli added with the garlic will give this dish a little heat and even more flavour.

Read more: All-time favourite recipe for baked eggs is mere child’s play

Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer who produces a range of handmade luxury jams, preserves and chutneys made from local, seasonal or organic ingredients. Helen’s produce is available nationwide from independent food emporiums and is also available at selected food delis across Europe.
Letters to ‘gingergirl’ c/o The Tipperary Star, Friar Street, Thurles, Co Tipperary.
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