Sausage Casserole

There is a farmers market once a month, around the corner from us and the butcher there makes THE BEST sausages that I’ve ever eaten. Usually I can take or leave sausages but these are just amazing. The month between the last two markets had me counting down the days until I could get my hands on some more. We bought pork and apple sausages to make for breakfast one day and some pork and leek to have in lunch/dinner dishes (plus some sausage meat for sausage rolls!). I wanted to make a dish that put sausages centre stage in the dish and James had been mentioning sausage casserole over the last few weeks (not so subtle hints!). I did a quick Google search and out popped Jamie Oliver’s recipe, I tweaked it a fair bit but the general ingredients are the same. I added more vegetables and left out the porcini mushrooms (because I didn’t have any) and breadcrumbs. It was a deliciously comforting dish.

Caesserole

When it comes to cooking this, I cooked it for about 3 hours, a couple at 150°C and the last at 180°C. Jamie’s recipe cooks it at 200°C for 40 minutes. If you have the time a slow cook brings out the flavours beautifully but if you’re pushed for time, go for the 40 minute option.

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Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Wild Garlic Pesto

I can claim absolutely no credit for this post but it is just too damn tasty not to share. I saw the recipe on ‘Top With Cinnamon‘ and knew I had to make it; I am definitely a member of the pesto fan club and James loves sweet potato. As it happens, I’m also a huge gnocchi fan and I have to say, perhaps disloyally to the versatile and delicious white potato, that sweet potato gnocchi is pretty damn fine. I very slightly altered the pesto recipe but nothing major. I also microwaved the potatoes until cooked, instead of baking them because I was short on time. It seemed to work fine!

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Top With Cinnamon is an amazing blog, with food photographs that make me want to cry with envy, you should definitely go and check it out!

Gnocchi is a great thing to make in bulk and freeze in portions to have on hand for a quick and easy meal. It cooks from frozen in a matter of minutes.

A note on wild garlic: IT IS DELICIOUS, it is beautifully peppery. Try it.

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Butternut Squash & Pancetta Soup

It is most definitely soup season, it is cold outside and a steaming bowl of soup really hits the spot. I was going to see a friend and her little girl one afternoon last week, on my luxurious week off of sleeping in, organising the house and baking, and I wanted to bring lunch along. I made the soup ahead of time, with just the pancetta to cook and the cream to stir in, once the soup had been heated up.

Butternut soup

It is my favourite butternut squash soup recipe that I’ve tried so far, and it was courtesy of The New Covent Garden Soup Company from their book ‘Soup For Everyday’. It was creamy, slightly sweet with the crispy saltiness of the fried pancetta. An incredible combination. I slightly changed when the sage was added as I prefer it blended into the soup itself but otherwise pretty much stuck with the original recipe.

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Butternutteroni

It is Autumn and that means it is squash season. There are gourds a-plenty and aren’t they just beautiful?! I saw this recipe first on A Beautiful Mess and decided to make it soon, then I saw it on Hello, Scarlett and knew I had to make it that week. I’m a HUGE macaroni cheese fan and love how this is a slightly healthier kind of macaroni cheese. It is still cheesy and delicious but has one of your 5 a day in it too. I made the sauce for 4 people but enough pasta just for 2, so it was very saucy; there’s definitely enough sauce to serve 4 in this recipe though.

Butternutteroni

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Butternut Squash, Sage & Goat’s Cheese Risotto

Butternut squash risotto

Since deciding to make this last week I have been counting down the days until risotto day. When I was a student at uni, risotto was a staple at our house. You could almost guarantee that someone was cooking it every night. The flavour combinations were endless. This one, or variations of this, were always a firm favourite at this time of year and I have to say, today was the perfect day for a risotto. Nothing warms you up after a day in an office with no heating and a cycle home in the rain, than risotto. There is something very therapeutic about making risotto, once you’ve prepared your ingredients then it is just 20 minutes of you and the pan, you just keep stirring. It is a real time out because all you can do is stand there and stir. There’s something being said for that, 20 minutes to yourself and the promise of a delicious, warming dinner afterwards.

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