Oh dear, sorry. There was a bit of a hiatus there while I did two, yes two, half terms and then needed a week to reset myself.
During that time I feel like I have gone full throttle, from settling down into a new school year and enjoying the lingering summer warmth, into late autumn. I actually embrace the clocks slipping back at the end of October, a good excuse to light the fire early and shut out the world. I don’t know about hygge, I have been doing cosy for years here in my little corner of Northern Ireland.
When you talk about autumn and think about the golden crunch of leaves under foot, comfort food automatically springs to mind. I dream up soups and crusty bread, seasonal squash, and wisps of steam floating from restorative stews.
Unfortunately most of us don’t get to spend the days splashing in the leaves wrapped in luxurious knits, there are offices and desks and school runs to be done and what we would all love is something warming to come home to. We want to tumble into the house and pile round the table and have something to plunge into while we share our day.
This sausage casserole is very simple, the kids love it and with the added bulk of beans and a bit of finesse with a gremolata it happily meets everyone’s requirements. I have adapted it from an old Jamie Oliver recipe that I discovered when I was investigating using beans to bulk up the sausages. As always I try to make things a little more straightforward to creat at the end of a busy day. This is easy to make in advance and reheat when everyone is home. Make extra. Use a flask or a bento box to take it to work or school for lunch.
I serve it with sweet potato wedges on the side.
For those of you that are gluten free simply replace the sausages with gluten free. For those of you who like some extra spice sprinkle in some chilli flakes.
1 large onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1 sprig of rosemary
1 glass of red wine
8 good quality sausages (I get 90% beef sausages from a local butcher)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 tin cannellini beans – drained (I like it beany)
For the gremolata
Tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 garlic clove
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1. Heat an oven proof casserole dish on a fairly high heat and brown the sausages regularly turning. Take them out when they are golden on the outside and set to one side.
2. Add a tbsp of olive oil to the pan and sauté the onions for 3 minutes until soft but not coloured and add the garlic and rosemary.
3. Add the sausages back into the pan with the red wine.
4. Bring to the bubble till the red wine is reduced by half.
5. Add the cannellini beans and the chopped tomatoes to the pan
6. Bring to the boil and simmer, loosely covered for 30 minutes
7. While the casserole is simmering finely chop all the gremolata ingredients
I serve the gremolata sprinkled on top of each serving to bring out the flavour of the casserole.