I've been starting to think of dishes that I can plan to make in advance, then I will enjoy if it is either really cold, or if it has been milder like was last week. I have been really into this very hearty, very filling Pasta, Sausage Meatball and White Bean Stew.
This recipe makes two very large portions, which I either keep in a fridge for myself as an easy meal, or cook when I have friends to stay.
You will need three good quality pork sausages, a handful of pasta shapes, olive oil, a 400g tin of haricot beans, salt, pepper, a 400g tin or carton of chopped tomatoes in their juice, an onion, a carrot, two small garlic cloves and half a stock cube made up with half a litre of water
First, you need to make the meatballs. Take a knife, and carefully remove the skin of the sausages. Split each sausage into three pieces and roll them into meatballs. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan until it is smoking, and fry the meatballs in the pan until they are browned all over. Set aside.
I like to use these delicious Debbie & Andrew's Harrogate 97% pork sausages which you can get in packs of 6 for £3 from Sainsburys. The quality of sausages you use for this recipe make all the difference!
Chop the onion and the carrot, and fry them in the remaining oil until the onions soften. Chop the garlic and add it to the pan and fry for another minute or two.
If your frying pan is not big enough to hold all the additional ingredients, at this point add the fried vegetables to a saucepan and add the stock and tomatoes. Simmer for ten minutes, then add the pasta and meatballs and simmer for another ten minutes.
Rinse the can of beans and stir into the saucepan along with lots of salt and freshly ground pepper.
Keep on the heat until the beans are piping hot, then ladle the stew into two bowls. Serve with red wine if you happen to have any hanging around or you are cooking this for someone! This recipe has been adapted from BBC Good Food.
If you give this a recipe a go, let me know how you get on - I love hearing how your meals turn out when you try them!