Perhaps I should explain for the Brits reading this; we're on to our umpteenth snow storm this month, it's completely baltic outside and it's just plain January for goodness sake! That's why there's so much comfort food on my blog so far, but I promise you, I do have more than comfort food in my bag of tasty treats.
Having said that, I just have to share one of my all time favorites; Sausage and Bean Casserole. I've been making this in various ways for years now but this is the tastiest. My family love it, my friends love it (it's my go to for a new and weary Mum) and most importantly I love it
The original recipe comes from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food:
However, as usual I decided to pack in more vegetables and fiber, and reduce the fat. The result is 2 meals for us; one for tonight and one goes in the freezer for a lazy or crazy day, depending on your definitions of the two.
If you're going to freeze it, leave off the breadcrumb topping until you bake it. It will take approx 1 hour and 15 minutes to cook from frozen.
Sausage and Bean Casserole
4 cups of fresh wholewheat breadcrumbs (from about 10 slices)
2 lb / 900g lean sausage (I used chicken sausage from Trader Joe's)
2 large onions, chopped
8-10 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lb / 450g carrots peeled and chopped quite small
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 cup / approx 6 oz /170g tomato paste
15 oz /400ml reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cups / 400 ml water
1 cup / 250 ml red wine
1 10 oz /284g package of frozen winter squash, defrosted
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cans (each 14.5 oz / 400g) white beans, rinsed and drained
- Preheat the oven to 375°F or 190°C
- Take the sausage out of the casings and break up into small pieces.
- Place a large, deep, heavy bottom pan, on a medium heat and cook the sausage, onions and garlic for approx 15 minutes or until sausage is starting to brown.
- Add the carrots and celery and cook for a further 5 minutes
- Add the tomato paste, winter squash, broth, water, wine and thyme and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer, add the beans and cook for a further 10 minutes
- Stir in 2 cups of breadcrumbs
- Pour the mixture into 2 medium sized (approx 3 quart) dishes and top with the remaining breadcumbs.
- Bake for 30 minutes until bubbling and golden on the top
This is great served alone but a fresh crusty bread, and green salad are delicious alongside.