Is it just me or is it freezing out there? I walked home from work this evening, trussed up in my winter coat and scarf with my little hands in gloves, and when I got home my fingers were still numb and blue. My terrible circulation may have been a factor in that though.
Tonight is one of those nights when you just want (need) a bowl of something warm, a glass of red and Corrie.
This one pot wonder is my vegan version of the classic cassoulet dish. I’m not normally one for meat and dairy substitutes (I think there’s a reason why no one’s thought to host a vegan cheese and wine evening ever) but you can get some decent veggie sausages made by Cauldron and Linda McCartney. I used Linda’s red onion and rosemary sausages but this recipe can be made with pork ones for all you meat eaters or even with mushrooms instead.
The weather forecast for this weekend doesn’t look promising so you could make this on one of your four (yes, four!) days off when it’s cold and wet and you’re suffering from a holiday hangover. I’m full of the joys of spring, me. Happy Easter!
1 tablespoon of oilve oil or coconut oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1 small potato, peeled and finely chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon of chilli flakes
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
A handful of whole cherry tomatoes
4 sausages (veggie or meaty)
1 tin of cannellini beans (or chickpeas or lentils)
A slosh of red wine (optional)
2 teaspoons of tomato puree
Leafy green vegetables such as kale, spring greens or spinach, roughly chopped
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the chopped onion and potato if you’re using it and cook on a very low heat stirring occasionally. After about five minutes, add the garlic, chilli flakes and paprika then after a minute or so, add the tinned tomato, then fill the empty can halfway with water and add to the sauce. Now’s the time to chuck in some cherry tomatoes too if you’re using them. Put a lid on the pan while it’s cooking.
Preheat the grill. Cook the sausages following the packet instructions – obviously, if you’re cooking meaty ones it’ll take a bit longer and make sure they’re not pink in the middle! When they’re cooked, remove from the grill, let them cool for two minutes then slice into bite sized pieces and chuck in the pan. Open your tin of beans (or lentils), rinse and drain and add these to the pan. At this stage, you can add a slosh of red wine should you wish and some tomato puree. Give the stew a good stir and return the lid to the pan.
The beauty of this recipe is that you can leave the stew cooking for as long as you like providing that you keep it on a low heat and stir it every so often. If you’re in a rush though, it’ll be ready in 10–15 minutes.
If you want, add your leafy veg at the very end and cook for an extra 5-10 minutes. If you’re doing this, turn up the heat, add a bit of water and stir, then return the lid to the pan. You could also serve this with bread, mashed potato, baked sweet potato or on just on its own. I chose a large glass of red. Enjoy!