A fantastically comforting and delicious dish ready in just 20 minutes. Works just as well with veggie sausages too. Serves 2
4 sausages, cooked and sliced into bite-sized chunks
200g dry pasta, spaghetti or tagliatelle is ideal
200g mushrooms, sliced
half a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
2 cloves of garlic
a small glass of dry white wine
three tablespoons of crème fraîche
2 large handfuls of fresh spinach
a small bunch of parsley, finely chopped.
A small squeeze of lemon
- Place a large saucepan of water on to boil.
- Fry your mushroom slices in a deep frying pan until tender, add the chilli garlic and a generous grind of pepper.
- Plunge your pasta into the boiling water and cook according to packet instructions.
- Add the wine to the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes on a medium heat to evaporate the harsh alcohol.
- Reduce the heat and add the crème fraîche and sausages to the mushrooms.
- Drain the pasta and add the spinach, parsley and lemon juice to the sauce. Check the seasoning, adding salt and more pepper if necessary.
- Mix the sauce into the pasta and serve with a sprinkling of cheese.
With the winds getting colder and the nights drawing in, it’s good to have something seasonal and comforting to eat in the evening.
For the stew
500g stewing steak, cubed
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 large onion
3 medium carrots
1 medium courgette
1 large potato
1 heaped tablespoon of plain flour
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon of yeast extract (marmite)
1 teaspoon Worcester sauce
For the dumplings
100g self-raising flour
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
pinch of salt
5 tablespoons of water
- Fry the stewing steak off with the oil in a pan large enough to hold all the meat in a single layer. This stage is the most important because here we are caramelising the sugars in the meat and building up flavour.
- While the mead it browning, chop your onion.
- When the meat is well browned and any liquid it has released has evaporated add the onion and continue to fry on a medium heat.
- Chop the rest of your vegetables and add them to the pan when the onion is starting to become tender.
- Sprinkle the flour on top of the meat and vegetables and stir it through. At this point brown crusty deliciousness will be beginning to form on the base of your pan. Add enough boiling water to just cover your meat and veg and use a wooden spoon to scrape the delicious residue from the bottom of your pan.
- Add the bay leaves, yeast extract and Worcester sauce and cook for about an hour and a half. Your stew is ready when the meat is tender and soft.
- Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Add the dry ingredients and parsley to a bowl and mix in the water to a soft dough. Set aside until required.
- When your stew is 15 minutes from serving, roll your dumpling mix into balls roughly 2cm in diameter and drop them onto the surface of the stew leaving room between them for expansion. Put a lid on your pan and cook for 15 minutes.
- Serve either on its own or with a big chunk of bread. This is not a dainty dish but it tastes like a hug in a bowl!