This is a perfect autumn warmer that you’ll find easy to prepare, largely from store-cupboard ingredients. Made with good-quality sausages and some protein-packed beans, it will provide hours of steady energy for your toddler, says M&B cook Clare Walker.
- To make the tomato sauce, heat 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and cook gently for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a further 2 - 3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, sage and agave nectar or sugar. Once simmering, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until you have quite a thick sauce.
- Whilst the sauce is cooking, remove the sausage skins and break each sausage into four pieces. Brown the sausage pieces in the remaining oil in a frying pan. Drain on kitchen towel until ready to add to the sauce.
- Drain the beans and rinse well. Add the beans and sausages to the tomato sauce and stir. Cover and simmer over a gentle heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve with green vegetables.
To make a family meal, double the quantity of the recipe. This will allow for extra portions to freeze for your toddler. Adding a sprinkling of chilli flakes to the sauce, once your toddler’s portion has been served, gives the stew a lovely warmth.
Pregnant? Cannellini beans are a source of folate, needed to help prevent birth defects in your baby. They are also a source of zinc, which is particularly important for the rapid cell growth that occurs during pregnancy, and iron, which can be depleted in pregnancy.
Before adding the sausages, remove a couple of spoonfuls of tomato sauce and beans and put in a separate saucepan. Cook for 10 minutes, adding a little extra water if necessary. Puree this, along with some of the cooked green vegetables. This is better suited to a baby of 8+ months as beans can make your baby a bit windy and are harder to digest.