On our Bank Holiday Monday drive to visit my brother in Southend someone drove into the back of our car. We were all fine. The kids were fine, although Little Miss R was rather shaken up. The car wasn't fine. Our lovely little Micra, which hasn't broken down once in 12 years has been sent to the scrap yard. I'm trying to remember it's an inanimate object and not feel too sad about its demise.
The kids recovered as soon as we arrived at their cousin's house but I will admit to having to have a little cry. Thankfully Auntie K, my sister-in-law had prepared an enormous feast for lunch - two sausage cassoulet's from the Save with Jamie Cookbook. No-one knows how to cook up a storm like a mother of five hungry children! Everything seemed better after a hearty meal and I was pleased to see my little Rs tucking in happily to a veg and bean filled meal. Ok, so they left all the whole carrots but you can't have it all right?
Here's my version, recreated the following week at home. Serves two small children and one moderately hungry adult.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 pepper, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
4 sausages (whichever type you like, it works well with vegetarian sausages too)
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
220g tin of haricot beans (or use baked beans and wash the sauce off - a handy tip for saving money that I picked up from A girl called Jack.)
Heat the oil in a large ovenproof pan. Add the vegetables and cook, covered, for 15 minutes over a low heat until soft. Stir occasionally.
Meanwhile cook the sausages until cooked through. I usually grill them. When cooked through slice into four or five pieces.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
When the vegetables are soft, stir through the smoked paprika and add the passata and water. At this stage I blended the sauce so that the children wouldn't leave the vegetables, you can skip this stage if you want to.
Add the beans and bring the sauce to the boil. Take the pan off the heat and place in the pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes until the sauce has thickened.