If you prefer you may use larger vine ripened tomatoes (cut the core/plug out before adding to the pan). After about 20 minutes in the over you should be able to easily pull the skins right off.
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time:1 hour 25 minutes
4 1/4 pounds lovely ripe cherry tomatoes, mixed colors if you can find them
A small bunch of fresh thyme (plus more for garnish) and rosemary
2–3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
12 very good-quality coarse Italian pork sausages, sweet or spicy
4oz. of pancetta or bacon, coarsely chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Choose a roasting pan, large enough to accomodate the tomatoes and sausage in 1 snug fitting layer.
Place the roasting pan over 1-2 (gas) burners straight on the stove top.
Drizzle oil in the roasting pan and fry the pancetta or bacon, herb sprigs and oregano until slightly crispy.
Turn off the burners. Push the pancetta and herbs to the side and add the sausages to the pan.
Add the tomatoes and garlic, nestling them in between the sausages.
Using tongs arrange the herbs and pancetta or bacon, atop the sausages and tomatoes, drizzle well with extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Toss together and pop the pan into the oven for half an hour.
Remove from the oven and turn the sausages over. Put back into the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how golden and sticky you like your sausages. Once cooked, you’ll have an intense, tomatoey sauce.
If the sauce is a little too thin, lift out the sausages and set aside, place the pan on the stove and reduce the sauce until it is the consistency you like – we like ours quite thick.
Remove from the oven and using tongs remove and discard the herbs.
Check the seasoning and if serving family style in a paella pan simply return the sausage to the pan and garnish with fresh thyme leaves. If plating, using a bowl spoon in some sauce, top with 2-3 sausages and garnish with fresh thyme leaves.