A touch of heat in a consoling casserole for a cold night.
Inspired by a recipe in the River Café Pocket Vegetable Book.
(Speak it softly but you could have a couple of sausages on the side–we did tonight!*)
I love beans and especially white beans and I have a penchant for fennel, cooked or raw.
Garlic is a staple here–Lautrec’s pink garlic is grown under our feet–so to speak.
Adding tomatoes coalesces everything into a delicious dish.
1 tbs olive oil
2 fennel bulbs–outer bruised parts removed and cut in thickish vertical slices
3 garlic cloves–peeled and sliced
2 small dried chilis–chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds–pounded in a mortar
8oz tinned (canned) tomatoes–drained and chopped
8oz white beans tinned (canned)–drained
salt and pepper
juice of a lemon
1 tbs olive oil (a second!)
In a shallow pan heat a tablespoon of olive oil.
Add the fennel and cook for a couple of minutes, turning the fennel over in the oil.
Add the garlic, fennel seeds and chili and cook on for five minutes.
Add the tomatoes and mix them well in.
Add a tablespoon of water and mix again.
Check after five minutes to see if you need another tablespoon of water–I did.
Cover the pan and cook for fifteen minutes or until the fennel is tender.
Mix in the beans and season with salt and pepper.
Re-cover and cook for another ten minutes.
Add the lemon juice and the tablespoon of olive oil.
Heat the oven to 190C (375 F)
Put the sausages in an oven pan with a splash of olive oil and sprigs of rosemary.
Cook for thirty minutes–shaking the pan occasionally.
Add a broken up bulb of garlic unpeeled.
Cook on for twenty minutes or longer to turn the sausages nicely brown.
Serve with Dijon mustard.