I'm a bit of a cowardy-custard in the kitchen. While boyfriends are always able to look in the fridge and find the ingredients of a tasty meal, I tend to cling to recipes remembered from books. Here is a Nigel Slater recipe that always makes me think, when I'm shopping, that if I can just lay my hands on sausages, onions, pasta and stock, I can rustle up a very acceptable dinner.

Serves 2

175g fresh spicy sausage
3tbsp olive oil
2 large onions cut into thin rings
225g wholewheat pasta
150ml chicken or vegetable stock (a good cube will do)
2tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1tbsp grain mustard
Salt and ground black pepper

Cut up the sausages into thick rounds and then fry the chunks in the oil for a few minutes (till browned), before adding the onion rings. Cover the pan, and leave it on a moderate heat to sort-of melt down.

While the sausages and onions are cooking, cook the pasta, drain and leave the lid on. After 20 minutes, the onions will be golden and caramelised (what a lovely word). At this stage, add the warmed-up stock and bring it all to the boil, giving the pan a good scrape round to get all the burned bits. Stir in the chopped parsley and the grain mustard. Add the drained pasta, and season with salt and pepper. Nigel suggests serving it with a glass of beer.

Lynne Truss's children's book 'The Girl's Like Spaghetti: why, you can't manage without apostrophes!' is published by Profile, £8.99