It's Saturday and it feels like a low carb sausage lasagne kind of day! Is it raining with you too? This feels like lockdown proper and the forecast says we will be needing our gum boots for at least the next week! Ho-Hum. Grateful to have made it out this morning and to have been able to run despite all the rain. At least its not snow. The grass on the playing fields was incredibly churned up and slushy and felt slippery underfoot but these early morning runs are slaking a thirst for freedom and I will take it in whatever shape it comes - how about you ? How are you doing? How are you finding your freedom and way out in these lockdown doldrums? Its proper grim isn't it - you kind of have to remember that nothing ever stays the same and this too will pass and just keep going!
One huge plus is that working from home gives time and an ability to consider our diet. There is more time to cook and more time to create new meals and test out new recipes. The lockdown has given me time to take on bigger projects and I am so happy to report a 49lb weight loss which I have now kept off for close on a year! When summer does come around and it will, I will enjoy it so much more for having taken the time to look after myself and make a difference. And if I can do this, you can too. Finding easy nourishing low carb recipes helps. And this one is great! Hearty and filling and adapted from a recipe by Thomasina Meyers this one is a keeper in the Oliver household. Lovely rich layers of sausage ragu, cabbage and a crunchy cheese topping, the recipe takes about 20 mins of preparation and 40 -45 mins cooking. Serve with steamed green vegetables and a knob of organic butter
For the recipe you will need:
2 tbsp oil of choice
1 onion (diced)
6 traditional pork sausages (we recommend these)
2 garlic cloves
130g tinned green lentils (drained and rinsed in cold water)
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 x 400g tin of plum tomatoes
250 ml whole milk
2/3 (ideally savoy) cabbage leaves separated
For the topping:
2 eggs beaten
100g parmesan cheese
250 g ricotta
Cook the onion & garlic in the oil til soft and translucent
Remove the sausage meat from the sausage casings and break up to add into pan. Discard the casing.
Cook the sausage meat til it starts to go slightly crusty and browns
Add the lentils, fennel seeds, chilli and stir to coat in the fat
Add the tomatoes and milk and simmer for about 20 minutes
Meanwhile heat the oven to 180C
Cut out the spine of the cabbage leaves and slice each leaf into 2 or 3 pieces
Blanch the leaves in a saucepan of boiling water for 2 - 3 minutes (I did this in two batches)
Leave to drain in a colander til needed
Stir the eggs into the ricotta cheese and 75 g of the parmesan, season well
Spoon 1/3 of the sausage ragu into a baking dish
Cover with 1/3 of the cabbage leaves
Repeat two more times and then spoon the ricotta mix on top
Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese
Drizzle with oil
Cover with tin foil and bake for 15 minutes
Remove the foil and bake for a further 15 - 20 minutes until the top is beautifully risen and golden
The finished dish will look something like this - crispy round the edges makes a great crunch too :)
We''ll give Gordon the last word!!
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