I don’t know about you, but one of my favourite things about this time of year is all the amazing food. When the weather is getting colder and the nights are drawing in there is nothing better than coming back from a long day of lectures to a warming homemade meal. These three recipes are all super easy to make, taste fantastic and don’t take much effort! Plus they won’t break the bank and make more than one serving. An idea might be to cook up batches at the weekend then freeze portions ready to defrost later on in the week. Alternatively if you’re feeling generous let your housemates dig in and they might return the favour the next week. Enjoy!
Sausage & Chickpea Stew (Serves 4)
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 8 thick pork sausages
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1tbsp paprika
- 300ml passata
- 400ml hot vegetable stock
- 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Few sprigs fresh thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oil in a large, deep saucepan. When the oil is hot fry the sausages over a high heat for 4-5 minutes until browned all over to seal them, when this is done remove and set aside.
- Add the onion, garlic, celery and potatoes to the saucepan, cover and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Sprinkle over the paprika and continue cooking for a further minute.
- Stir in the passata and the stock, turn up the heat a little to bring to the boil and once achieved reduce the heat to allow the mixture to simmer.
- Slice each sausage diagonally into 3 or 4 slices and add to the saucepan along with the chickpeas and half the thyme sprigs. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
- Place a lid on the saucepan and allow to simmer for 35-40 minutes until all the vegetables are tender. Serve garnished with the rest of the thyme sprigs.
Recipe adapted from: http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/537993/sausage-and-chick-pea-stew
Lentil & Bacon Soup (Serves 3)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 x 70g packs pancetta cubes
- 1 carrot (about 120g), finely diced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 chilli, sliced
- 2 low-salt stock cubes
- 250g red lentils, rinsed
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan; add the onion, one pack of pancetta and the carrot. Cook on a low to medium heat until the onions are soft.
- Add the cumin, turmeric, garlic and chilli and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Pour in 1.25 litres of boiling water, crumble in the stock cubes and add the lentils. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stir occasionally to ensure lentils are not sticking.
- In a separate smaller frying pan, fry the remaining pack of pancetta cubes on a low heat for about 10 minutes until crispy- you won’t need to add any oil and plenty will run from the pancetta itself.
- Once the soup has simmered for 20 minutes and the lentils are cooked, serve in a bowl and garnish with a sprinkling of the crispy pancetta.
Recipe adapted from: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2155646/lentil-and-bacon-soup
Bolognese With a Twist (Serves 6)
- 500g Fresh Beef Mince.
- 400g Dried Spaghetti.
- 6 Rashers of Smoked Streaky Bacon finely diced.
- 2 Tins of Chopped Tomatoes.
- 6 Fresh Cherry Tomatoes.
- 200g Halloumi, diced into approx. 1cm cubes.
- 2 Medium Onions, peeled and finely diced.
- 150g Mushrooms, finely chopped.
- 2 Carrots trimmed and finely diced.
- 2 Cloves of Garlic peeled and finely diced.
- 75g Mozzarella
- 2 Beef Stock Cubes
- Handful of Fresh Basil, plus extra for Garnish.
- 1 tsp. Dried Oregano.
- Olive oil.
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper.
- Grated parmesan to garnish
- In a large saucepan heat around 1tbsp of olive oil on a medium heat, when it is hot gently fry your bacon and halloumi until golden and crispy. Then reduce the heat slightly and add in your onions, carrots, mushrooms and garlic. Keep stirring for around 8 minutes or until the veg has softened.
- Increase the heat slightly and add in the mince, stir until the meat has browned all over.
- Stir in your tins of chopped tomatoes; add in the basil, dried oregano and season with salt and pepper. Crumble in the stock cubes, slice your fresh cherry tomatoes in half and throw these in as well.
- Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, reduce the heat to low-medium place a lid on the saucepan and leave for 45 minutes to allow the flavours to develop into a wonderfully rich tomatoey sauce, ensure you stir occasionally to make sure it doesn’t catch.
- Just as the sauce in nearly ready add in the mozzarella. Meanwhile bring a separate saucepan of water to the boil and cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions. Once the spaghetti is ready drain it using a colander, then add it to the pan with the sauce. Give it all a good stir to make sure all the pasta is coated in sauce then serve. Garnish your dish with a few fresh basil leaves and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
Recipe adapted from: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1502640/the-best-spaghetti-bolognese
Good luck and don’t be afraid to experiment with ingredients, you’ll be the next Jamie Oliver in no time!