Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Real Simple's Chickpea and Sausage Stew

You'd think a recipe from the magazine "Real Simple" would be, well simple. Not so much. For the purposes of this post, I'll rename the stew "Not So Simple Chickpea and Sauage Stew."

Note: this comes from the February issue of Real Simple Magazine


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
12 ounces Italian sausage, thawed and casings removed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 10-ounce package frozen leaf spinach
Kosher salt and pepper
8 slices bread, toasted (optional)

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 to 7 minutes.

2. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling it with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

3. Stir in the parsley and cilantro and cook for 1 minute more. Add the broth and chickpeas and bring to a boil.

4. Add the frozen spinach and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a fork to separate the leaves. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

5. Divide the toasted bread, if using, among individual bowls and spoon the stew on top.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

CALORIES 485(49% from fat); FAT 24g (sat 6g); SUGAR 5g; PROTEIN 29g; CHOLESTEROL 60mg; SODIUM 1679mg; FIBER 11g; CARBOHYDRATE 40g

Cook's Notes:

1. So I rarely make sausage, but I thought the meal looked good and since it's winter and all I'm all about stews and soups. The recipe did not specify what kind of Italian Sausage to buy, so I went with chicken sausage.
2. This is kind of gross, but when I went to throw the sausage in the hot pan I didn't think it was in a casing. The minute it hit the pan and started to cook I realized my mistake, so I had to fish the now hot sausages out of the pan and cut off the casings. It was nasty and I probably contaminated my entire kitchen with salmanela.
3. Where is the garlic? I added a ton of minced garlic to the onions in step 1.
4. Upon tasting it immediately after cooking I wasn't impressed. I was actually kind of mad because I thought I might have wasted time and money on this dish. So I divided it up into four containers and popped them in my fridge and freezer and ate lasagna instead. I had the soup the next night and it was quite good. I think the flavors really needed to sit overnight. You might want to take this into consideration and make ahead and freeze.

Would I make it again? Maybe. I feel like this is a meal Mr. Snowgoose would enjoy more than me. Maybe I'll make it for him sometime (or he can make it himself).

Note: Make sure to take some beano before eating the stew. The beans pack a punch. I'm just saying.

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