I love a one-pot cooking recipe. I enjoy cooking but I hate it when I have to use seven pans, a mixer, a whisk, a wooden spoon, three types of chopping board, a grater, a baking tray and a partridge in a pear tree. We have a dishwasher so it’s not as if it’s the washing up that bothers me; it’s just the mess whilst I’m cooking. I’m quite orderly in general and like things to be neat and tidy (although looking at my house most days, you’d probably question this), so one-pot meals are perfect for me!
This particular recipe is one I’ve adapted for my slow cooker but it can easily be done in a saucepan or large pot on the hob. I just love that I can throw everything in first thing in the morning and forget about it. The preparing and cooking of it dirties my slow cooker, a chopping board, a knife and a stirring spoon. And that’s it! Amazing!
It’s not a sausage stew in the traditional sense. The sausage meatballs (see recipe for this) are stewed in tomatoes and mixed herbs, giving it a much more ‘Italian’ flavour – hence the name. I think I developed it from a Gina D-Acampo recipe a few years ago, but I’ve made it so many times now, and changed it so frequently, that I’ve got my own version down to a fine art. I hate it when recipes call for all manner of things you don’t have in your cupboards/fridge so this recipe uses really hearty, staple store cupboard ingredients and I think that’s why it’s become one of my go-to recipes.
It’s not too heavy but full of rich flavour and the kids love it too! Bonus! Here’s the oh-so-easy recipe:
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: minimum 40 minutes but the longer the better
- 8 sausages (any will do but I choose Lincolnshire ones because they are already so well seasoned!)
- 2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes (seasoned with mixed herbs are great as it saves you a job!)
- 1 green pepper
- 4 medium sized carrots
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- 12 – 15 good sized new/baby potatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bag of shop-bought croutons (unless you desperately want to make your own!)
- Chop the cloves of garlic into small-ish chunks and fry until softened (if you are using your slow cooker and it doesn’t have this function then either throw them in as they are or fry off in a small pan before popping in the slow cooker)
- Add the tins of tomatoes and add some mixed herbs if the tomatoes are not already seasoned with them. If you are using the slow cooker, fill one of the tins with water and add this.
- Throw in the washed new/baby potatoes (if you are cooking this quickly in 30 minutes you might want to soften these first in a pan of boiling water to ensure they are super soft when serving).
- Wash the carrots, chop off both ends and cut into thumb-sized chunks. Put them in the pot.
- Chop the green pepper (you can use any colour but I like to make it as colourful as possible!), discarding the stalk and seeds, into long, thin strips and toss them into the pot.
- Set the slow cooker for two hours or as long as you want (I’ve done this over seven hours before). If you’re cooking this on the hob, turn it onto a high heat until the tinned tomatoes are bubbling.
- Whilst this begins cooking, it is time to make the sausage meatballs. Do this by ensuring that both ends of the skin can be opened. Squeeze out the sausage meat from the skin to create three meatballs from each sausage. If you want to season these you can do, but if you have well-seasoned sausages already you wont need to bother with this.
- The stew should have started bubbling now. It is time to add the sausage meatballs. I use a spoon to submerge them, scattered about the pot.
- Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- That’s it! Sit back and relax until the slow cooker tells you it’s ready. If you are cooking on the hob, turn the hob until the stew is simmering, then cook for 30-35 minutes, stirring to ensure it doesn’t burn. Ensure carrots and potatoes are soft before serving.
- Serve in a bowl with a handful of croutons over the top to add a bit of crunch. You can serve with bread if you like but this stew has all the food groups covered so you don’t really need it. Don’t let that stop you though! You can’t beat a good chunk of bread with a stew!