Amazing recipe, as usual, from HF-W in the Guardian. Some recipes make you want to make them as soon as you read them, and this was one for me. Of course, being impatient (and knowing I had sausages in the freezer), I subbed in pork sausages which worked wonderfully. This made excellent lunches and dinners for several days.
Chickpea stew with pork sausage meatballs
Adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
A great, spicy stew for a chilly day. Serves eight.
6 pork sausages
3 onions, peeled and finely diced
6 dried bay leaves
6 thyme sprigs
1 head of garlic, peeled and sliced
3 small red chillis, membrane and seeds removed, finely chopped
3 tsp ground cumin
3 400g tin plum tomatoes
500ml chicken or vegetable stock
500g dried chickpeas, soaked and cooked
500g baby spinach
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
First make the meatballs. Take the sausage out of the casings and pinch off walnut sized chunks of sausage. Wet your hands and roll each chunk into small meatballs. Place in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat, and fry the meatballs until lightly browned on all sides, about five minutes. Set aside.
Next, make the stew. Warm the remaining oil in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat and fry the onions gently with the bay leaves and thyme, stirring from time to time, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic, chilli and cumin, and fry for a minute. Add the tomatoes (crushing them roughly against the side of the pan with a fork), stock and chickpeas. Season and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Add the meatballs to the stew and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add the spinach and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste, adjust the seasoning if necessary, and serve. Add parsley garnish on top if using.