Roasted Italian Sausages with Cherry Tomatoes . . .

There are so many things we love about this dish: it's all cooked in one oven dish; we're using more robust herbs like thyme, rosemary and bay; the half-roasted, half-stewed fresh tomatoes turn into a lovely rich and chunky sauce which is miles superior to anything from a shelf; and we're roasting the sausages which is far better than frying.

PS: Any leftovers can be chopped up and made into a wonderful pasta dish, using penne or rigatoni, the next day.

2 kg ripe cherry tomatoes
10 sprigs thyme
6 sprigs rosemary
6 bay leaves
1 heaping tbsp oregano
6 cloves garlic, chopped and peeled
12 good quality coarse Italian pork sausages
extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Preheat the over to 375ºf or 190C and start with an appropriate sized roasting tray large enough to hold the tomatoes in one very snug-fitting layer.
Put in all the tomatoes, the garlic the sausages and the oregano, and drizzle well with the olive oil and the balsamic vinegar, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Toss this well together, ensuring all is coated. Then add the herbs while you are arranging the sausages on top, mixing herbs in the tomatoes and on top of the sausages. Place the tray in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, give the tomatoes a stir while turning the sausages (keeping them at the top) return to the oven until the sausages are cooked to your desired wellness.
If the tomatoes are not cooked enough (you want an intense, slightly thickened tomatoey sauce) remove the sausages and cook the sauce down more, returning the sausages to warm thru prior to serving.
Check the seasoning and serve with a good quality crusty bread for mopping, a green salad and a nice glass of red wine.