Last night's dinner needed to be something that would make me feel a little less delicate, so I grabbed a few sausages out of the freezer, checked I had enough macaroni (I was 6g short), and raided my cupboards for a tin of beans. Flageolet beans.
I love flageolet beans. I could (and often do) eat them straight out of the tin. This was my last tin. I never use the last tin. I go out and buy a million more tins before I use the last tin.
I used the last tin.
Even now, while sitting here and typing this - I'm wondering when I am going to be able to re-stock them, because I can't get them locally. This is Cornwall, and I live in The Forgotten Corner. We don't have flageolet beans here. Or buses.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Serves 4
Prep time - 15 minutes
Cooking time - 40 - 50 minutes
You will need
A large non stick saucepan/skillet
1 tbsp olive oil
8 Lincolnshire (or good pork) sausages
2 onions - finely chopped
2 large carrots - peeled and diced
3 sticks celery - diced
2 cloves garlic - crushed
2 tbsp tomato puree
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1Litre chicken stock
400g tin flageolet beans - drained and rinsed
Handful fresh parsley - chopped
In a bowl, remove the sausages from their case-ings and roll the meat into walnut sized meatballs - probably about 3 per sausage. Heat the olive oil in the non stick pan and gently brown the sausage balls on all sides - about 10 minutes, remove from pan with slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the carrots, celery and onion to the pan and cook until softened, about 10 minutes - then add the garlic and tomato puree, cook for 1 minute. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the macaroni and simmer for 5 minutes before returning the meatballs to the pan. Simmer for another 5 minutes, then stir in the flageolet beans. Cook for yet another 5 minutes until beans are piping hot, and macaroni and meatballs are cooked.
Season to taste, stir in the parsley and serve.
NOTE: Make sure you cook the sausage meatballs in the same pan as everything else, as this truly is where the flavour comes from.