Spicy sausage and vegetable bake

Sausage bake

Spicy sausage & vegetable bake // The Dinner Bell

At the beginning of this month, vegetables made headlines. Not in terms of comedic shapes or astonishing size, but rather because we Britons aren’t getting enough of them. I know! What a shock! Honestly, it’s like we’re a nation raised on turkey twizzlers and chips or something.

Oh, how we guffawed. Seven a day, we’re meant to eat now, apparently. Seven different fruits and vegetables, about 80g per portion. The only way the average person in the UK will achieve that is if they reclassify potatoes as vegetables, instead of starchy carbs.

But we can, try, right? We can try sneaking the healthy stuff in. I got a julienne peeler for my birthday and it, along with a bit of mind trickery, helped me to totally up my vegetable game. So out with spaghetti. In with what people have dubbed courgetti/zoodles. This, I tell you, is something no-one who’s known me for more than 5 minutes would have predicted.

In this bake, those vegetables are beefed up with sausage meatballs, chickpeas, and a decent kick of chilli. And by the end of it, you’ve had three of your five – or seven – a day, with none of the misery of enduring a salad.

I very nearly didn’t write this recipe, because, well, it’s all a bit haphazard and when you bake it, it just looks like any other thing topped with cheese – that is, delicious, but not particularly inventive. It’s not going to make anyone gasp. It’s vegetables in a sauce with cheese. I didn’t deem it blog-worthy at all, until I realised that I’d eaten it three or four times a week, and started panic-buying courgettes as if there’d be a sudden dearth, and so just maybe it might be worth sharing.Spicy sausage & vegetable bake // The Dinner Bell

Ingredients

1 medium onion, finely sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 leek, washed and sliced
2 sausages (I tend to use sausages that have some kind of flavour, like sweet chilli, because I love slightly fancy sausages)
300g passata
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 courgette, julienned
1 medium carrot, julienned
100g chickpeas (optional)
4og extra mature cheddar, grated

Optional extras: mushrooms, real pasta, pretty much any veg you fancy.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Over medium heat, fry the onion, garlic, and leek until soft.
  2. Skin the sausages and use a pair of scissors to snip chunks off straight into the pan. Lightly brown the chunks on all sides.
  3. Add the passata and spices, and mix throughly. Throw in the courgette, carrot, and chickpeas, mix to coat them in sauce, then transfer to an casserole dish. Top with cheese, and bake for around 20 minutes, until the cheese is just starting to brown.
Filed under All Recipes, Meat, Savoury

The lady behind The Dinner Bell! I'm that person who doesn't let you leave their flat without eating something, and will probably press a parcel of cookies or cake into your hands as you head to the door. I’m a sub-editor by day, avid book-reader by night, and octopus fan always. I live in north London, but little bits of my heart still belong to Norfolk, where I grew up, and Sheffield, where I went to uni and finally lost my bumpkin accent.

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