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Spicy sausage macaroni

Chorizos are sold cooked and uncooked in delicatessens: make sure you buy the uncooked variety for this dish.
The macaroni should be only just tender after boiling, so it does not become mushy when heated through in the oven.
It should be completely covered with cheese, so that the top layer does not become hard or brittle.

ingredients

serves 6
500 g (1 lb) chorizo sausages
salt
350 g (12 oz) short-cut macaroni
15 g (1/2 oz) lard
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 x 250 g (9 oz) cans tomato or mushroom spaghetti sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
freshly ground black pepper
175 g (6 oz) mild Cheddar cheese, grated
margarine, for greasing

method

1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Meanwhile, skin the sausages.

2. Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4. Drop the macaroni into the boiling water and cook according to packet instructions until just tender, Drain thoroughly.

3. While the macaroni is cooking, melt the lard in a large frying-pan, add the sausages and fry, turning, until brown on all sides. Remove the sausages from the pan, drain on absorbent paper and set aside.

4. Add the onion to the pan and fry gently, stirring often, until it is soft and golden. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and pour away the fat left in the pan.

5. Cut the sausages into 1 cm (1/2 inch) pieces. Return to the pan with the onion, spaghetti sauce and oregano, if using. Season carefully with salt and pepper. Bring the contents of the pan to simmering point.

6. Lightly grease a 1.75 L/3 pint casserole. Form separate layers of macaroni, sausage and sauce, and one-third of the cheese. Repeat these layers once, then finish with a layer of macaroni. Sprinkle the top with the remaining one-third of the grated cheese, making sure all the macaroni is covered.

7. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the topping is golden and the macaroni heated through.

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