Rich Meatball Stew with Loads of Veg

This is a top-notch little recipe, though I do say so myself – it’s full of smoky tomato flavours, garlic, and the richness of the scrummy sausage meatballs, but it’s also packed with vegetables.

One onion
Two sticks of celery
One red pepper
One aubergine
One courgette
A tin of chopped tomatoes
A couple of cloves of garlic
Four or five good-quality pork sausages
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Serves 2, with some left over for lunch the next day.

First of all, get all of your veg chopped up ready to start - just slice it up roughly. If you haven’t used aubergine before, you don’t need to peel it, just rinse it and then chop. The same goes for courgettes and celery. Once that’s done, pop a drizzle of olive oil into a saucepan, and crush in two cloves of garlic. Leave this to sizzle until there’s a delicious smell rising from the pan, and then add all the vegetables. Stir well to spread the oil around, and then leave the vegetables to fry gently while you get the sausage meatballs ready.

I almost always use sausage meat when I make meatballs – it’s already packed with flavour and seasoning, and it doesn’t dry up, which can often be a problem with meatballs made purely from mince. For some reason, it can be a little bit expensive if you buy a packet of sausage meat, so I would always suggest just buying sausages and whipping the skins off! Simply unzip the skins with a sharp knife and then peel them off. Break the meat up into chunks and then roll it between your palms to form the meatballs. Pop them all into the vegetable mix, turn up the heat a bit and keep stirring until the meat starts to colour.

Finally, pour in the tin of chopped tomatoes (plus a little bit of water if the mixture looks too dry) and add a good sprinkle of oregano, salt and black pepper. Put a lid on and leave it to bubble for twenty minutes or so, then taste it and see if it needs anything else. 

When you’re ready to eat, serve up a bowlful and top it with a little bit of grated cheddar cheese – fabulous. This would also go really well with my delicious homemade garlic bread – check it out on the How To page