For the best results use good-quality pork sausages, ideally with some Italian flavourings such as fennel seeds, in this Tuscan bean and sausage stew. If you can’t find any you could always add a scattering of fennel seeds or a sliced fennel bulb with the onions.
TIME TAKEN: 1¼ hours
2 tbsp olive oil
8 chunky pork sausages, each cut into 2-3 pieces
2 onions, sliced
1 red (bell) pepper, deseeded and sliced
2 sticks celery, thickly sliced
¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 x 400g tins beans such as borlotti, cannellini, pinto or haricot, drained
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
TO SERVE (OPTIONAL)
crusty bread or mash
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
2. Heat the oil in a fairly shallow ovenproof pan or heavy roasting tray and quickly brown the sausages all over to give them colour but not cook all the way through. Add the onions and cook for a couple of minutes to also colour, then add all the remaining ingredients.
3. Season with salt and pepper then stir to mix. Cover with a lid but if you don’t have one, then a baking tray on top will be fine.
4. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid, stir everything around and return to the oven without a lid for a further 15-20 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
5. Serve the bean and sausage stew with crusty bread or mash, and some greens such as buttered steamed cabbage or green beans.
Gluten-free The sausages are the only ingredient in this recipe that is likely to contain gluten, so make sure you use gluten-free ones.
Vegetarian/vegan Vegetarian or vegan sausages won’t hold themselves well cooking for so long in the sauce, so you are better to cook them separately until golden, then add them to the stew for the final 15-20 minutes of cooking.
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Our recipes are from The Flexible Family Cookbook by Jo Pratt, which is published by Frances Lincoln, price £20. To order a copy for £14 until 13 September go to whsmith.co.uk and enter the code YOUFLEX at the checkout. Book number: 9780711251687. For terms and conditions, see whsmith.co.uk/terms.