October is definitely the month which highlights the change of season from summer to autumn. The colours on the trees, warm reds, yellow and gold and the shortening of the days means that a change in season is here. I like to change the sort of family meals I make to reflect the cooler, damp days.

With Halloween and bonfire night fast approaching, I thought I would share with you a warming, delicious hearty tagine recipe. Tagines are clay cooking vessels. The name also refers to the method of cooking, a stew/casserole type dish originating from North Africa, mainly Morocco. As it is also pumpkin and squash season, I thought it would be a good idea to use some in my tagine along with some spiced chorizo sausages. Merguez sausages would be a good, authentic alternative and I was amazed to find them in Asda recently. Very good they are too!

Obviously, if you are cooking this dish for smaller children you could simply replace the sausages with a milder, simpler tasting variety. It is a lovely dish to prepare and cook; a one pot supper. I like to serve it with cous cous and some sort of green vegetable on the side. Chard is in season now, as are cabbage and kale.


Ingredients :- Serves 1 family

• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 medium onion finely chopped or sliced
• 1 large clove of garlic finely chopped
• 1 or 2 peppers of any colour chopped into chunks (I bought a “basics bag” of peppers - they are good value)
• 1/2 a medium butternut squash or pumpkin peeled, de-seeded and chopped into medium sized chunks
• 50g of dried apricots cut in half
• 50g dried stoned prunes cut in half
• 2tbsp Ras el Hanout Tagine spice mix. I used “Seasoned Pioneers”
and it was excellent. Bart also do a version. Available in most supermarkets.
• salt & pepper
• 1 packet chorizo style sausages de-skinned and divided up into little patties/meatballs
• 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
• 400g tin of chickpeas, drained
• 500ml hot chicken stock

Method :-

1. Heat 1tbsp of the oil and fry the onion gently for 5 minutes before adding in the garlic, chopped peppers and squash/pumpkin. Fry for 2 minutes and add in the Ras el Hanout spice mix. Fry for another 2 minutes. Add seasoning at this point.

2. In a saucepan, use the other tablespoon of oil to fry the little chorizo sausage patties/meatballs. They need to brown for 3 minutes each side before adding them into the tagine.

3. Add the sausage patties/meatballs to the tagine, followed by the drained chickpeas, chopped tomatoes, dried fruit and hot chicken stock.

4. Bring to the boil, cover and leave to simmer gently for 30 to 40 minutes. If the sauce is getting too thick just top it up with a splash or two of hot water towards the end of the cooking time.

5. Serve with cous cous and vegetables and some chopped coriander if you like it!

Here is the recipe in pdf format, for you to download and print off.

Recipe by Laura Scott at How to cook good food www.howtocookgoodfood.co.uk
Twitter : @laura_howtocook

About Laura...

I'm Laura, an ex-chef who moved out of London to live the good life in Surrey. Now a mother to 3 young children, a cookery tutor, allotment holder, food writer and recipe contributor. I love writing my food blog and talking about how to cook and eat good food. It doesn't have to be complicated. It simply has to taste good. I hope you will find some recipes here which will encourage you to get in the kitchen and cook because I happen to love cooking, always have.......do you? I would love to hear from you and always answer any cooking queries you may have, so please do get in touch!{jcomments on}