Boerwors are South Africa’s answer to the British banger. The name comes from the Afrikaans words boer (meaning “farmer”) and wors (meaning “sausage”). Boerwors are typically coarser than your average British sausage and traditionally are made with beef rather than pork. They are also a lot more fragrant: coriander seed is a common seasoning as are nutmeg and cloves.
This recipe for wors cannelloni is another from Justin Bonello and his acclaimed South African cookery book, “Cooked in Africa.” I love the simplicity of this dish but it also has its own forehead-slapping genius in a “why has no one thought of this before?” sort of way. The cylindrical sausage makes it the perfect filling for the tubular cannelloni and covered in lashings of bechamel, tomato sauce and grated cheese, this is comfort food at its absolute best.
Because I’ve blogged about a few of Justin’s recipes (and because I probably don’t need to patronise you with how to make a decent white or tomato sauce), I won’t reproduce the recipe in full here. But safe to say it is as simple as wrapping pan fried sausages in sheets of lasagne, smothering in bechamel and tomato sauce, finishing with a generous grating of gruyere and parmesan and baking till golden. My OH, who’s not the biggest pasta fan, wolfed this down and finished with the words, “It’s not very sophisticated, but it’s very tasty,” which probably sums this dish up perfectly.
My top tips for this recipe:
- Only top quality sausages with a high meat content will work here. Beef or lamb sausages are good, or maybe a pork sausage with some Italian seasonings. My wors contained lamb and rosemary which was a brilliant combination.
- If using dried pasta sheets, parboil them for 3 minutes until they are flexible enough to be wrapped around the sausages. You could of course just use cannelloni tubes if your supermarket stocks them.
- For four people, you will need 8 sausages, 8 sheets of lasagne, 500ml of each sauce and lots of grated cheese!