Sausage Ragu & Cheesy Polenta

A sausage ragu is one of those recipes you often see on pretentious Italian cooking shows. The chef spends all day cooking it and it looks like tomato slop on a plate. I decided I’d write my own recipe for it which can be completed without fancy ingredients and in about 30 minutes. This is now one of my favourite comfort food meals. It’s fresh and fragrant, yet filling and hearty. Everything you want in a dish right? Take a look at this!

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I enjoyed mine with a lovely Welsh cider really complemented the flavours in the sauce! 🙂 (Pretentious or what? 😛 )

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped or minced

8 vegan sausages (I used Linda McCartney as these days I’m skint.)

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

400 ml vegetable stock

2 tbsp tomato puree

400g instant polenta

1 whole block of vegan cheese (I used Cheezly because it’s hard to get hold of much in rural South Wales. Try Tesco’s smoked vegan cheese for the best flavours.)

4 fresh rosemary sprigs

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Method

Make the ragu! Heat the oil in a frying pan. Cook the onions and garlic for a few minutes on a medium heat.

Stir in the sausages, breaking them up into small pieces as they defrost. This should take roughly 8 minutes.

Stir in the chopped tomatoes, stock, tomato puree and most of the rosemary. Leave to simmer for about 10 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken.

Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Whilst the ragu is simmering away, it’s time to make the cheesy polenta. Make up the polenta as per the packet instructions. Remove from the heat and stir in your cheese. (You’ll need to have grated it for this to work.) Season as you wish.

To plate up, pour the ragu over the top of the polenta and add some fresh sprigs of rosemary.

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I really hope you enjoy this dish. It’s worth the time and effort to make it. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lentil Stew & Sesame Rice

I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: my family are difficult to feed. Each one has a different food that they dislike. Some won’t eat peppers, some won’t eat anything green, some won’t eat spices and others won’t eat mushrooms or tomatoes.

My way of eating changed dramatically when I left home. I started to experiment with world cuisine and ate foods I’d never have dreamed of eating before, which goes to show that a lot of people who are fussy eaters, me previously included, carry a lot of their dislike in their head rather than in their taste buds.

I am often tasked with cooking when I stay at my parents because I am adept at cooking large quantities of tasty food in a relatively short time. I decided to make this lentil stew and add various ingredients that I am constantly told won’t be eaten. Needless to say, it was all eaten.

Ingredients:

  • 285 g red lentils
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 large white onions
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 cube of frozen ginger
  • 2 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper (All of them hate spice.)
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes (My mum and little sister hate tomatoes)
  • 1 lemon
  • 700 ml vegetable stock
  • Fresh parsley
  • 400g brown rice
  • 65 g sesame seeds (My little sister won’t eat seeds.)

Method

Do the rice first because it takes forever!

  • Place rice in a pan of boiling water and allow to cook on a low heat for about 45 minutes.
  • When rice is cooked, drain and mix with sesame seeds.

In the 45 minutes it takes to cook, get on with the stew!

  • Rinse the lentils under cold water and leave to drain.
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and salt and cook until the onion is soft.
  • Now add the garlic, ginger, cumin and cayenne and keep stirring.
  • Add the vegetable stock, lentils, half of the lemon cut into slices and chopped tomatoes.
  • Simmer on a low heat for about 30 minutes.
  • Finely chop your parsley and sprinkle with freshly squeezed lemon juice from the remaining half of the lemon.
  • Serve to your fussy family and watch them all eat it! 🙂

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Red Lentil Dahl

This is a dish I have been making for years. It’s really simple and totally yummy! 🙂

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Firstly you’re gonna need some ingredients:

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* Two handfuls of red lentils

* 800 grams of chopped tomatoes

* 4 cloves of garlic, crushed

* 1 can of coconut milk

* 2 cubes of vegetable stock

* 2 white onions

* 1 tablespoon of garam masala, cayenne pepper and cumin (each)

 

1) Heat some oil in a large pan. I used a wok because this makes plenty.

2) Now add in your two chopped onions and garlic. Give it a good stir to cover everything in the oil.

3) Turn the heat off and place the red lentils in the pan. Mix through thoroughly adding all the spices as you go.

4) Now add the whole can of coconut milk and again mix and stir through. (Turn the heat back on now.)

5) Open and pour the chopped tomatoes into the pan.

6) Place your stock cubes in the pan, add half a pint of cold water and again mix through.

7) Turn the heat right down to it’s lowest and stir the pan every few minutes for about 20-30 minutes, or until a good chunk of the liquid has been absorbed.

8) Serve with garlic and parsley vegan buttered chapatis.

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