Those of you who follow me on Twitter (thanks and apologies for the inane tweets) will know that I recently live-tweeted a recipe for sausage cannelloni. This recipe was at the behest of my naughty little sister, who is at university and whose cupboard is bare. She has but three herbs and spices: turmeric, basil and chilli flakes and was after a recipe that didn’t require her to invest further. Sausage cannelloni was my solution, and by all accounts it went down well. So well, in fact, that I have pledged to provide further inspiration (god help me), on the basis that lil’ sis buys one new spice or herb per recipe.
Anyone who is either at university or was once upon a time and can still remember the experience in any detail will know that the plethora of ‘student cooking’ articles that flood the newspapers every September are entirely misplaced. All students are flush in September; their loans have just come through and they’ve probably boosted the coffers by working over the summer. No, it’s the start of November when poverty starts to bite and students start to trawl the cities for the one cash point that will still give out a fiver.
I can’t stress enough that the best way to keep costs down is to buy your fruit and veg at a market or greengrocer. You could also make the tortillas given that, as students, time is on your side – failing that, take advantage of a BOGOF offer to get the best deal.
1 chorizo (the fat looped one, not the slices), chopped into thick slices
3 peppers – preferably red, orange and yellow – chopped into chunks
1 red onion, finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 courgettes, sliced
A handful of mushrooms, sliced
2 cans chopped tomatoes
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp sugar
A splash balsamic vinegar
Half a small bunch fresh coriander, chopped (freeze the other half)
Grated cheese (you need about a tbsp per tortilla)
Rice, sour cream and guacamole to serve, if you’re feeling flush
Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan oven)
In a large saucepan or deep-sided frying pan, fry the onion, garlic and chorizo in a splash of oil for two to five minutes, until the onions are soft and the chorizo browned. Add in the veg and continue to fry for a few more minutes until they start to soften. Pour over the tomatoes, kidney beans, sugar, vinegar and spices and stir well. Then leave to simmer until any excess liquid has evaporated. (about 15-20 minutes). Lastly, scatter over the coriander.
Lie one of the tortillas out flat and spoon the chorizo etc in a line along the centre. Sprinkle over a tbsp grated cheese, then pull the sides up and over the filling and secure with a cocktail stick. Repeat with all the tortillas, then line up on a large, greased baking tray and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the tortillas are crisp and lightly browned.
I usually serve two tortillas per person, but if you cook up some rice and add a dollop of sour cream and guacamole to each plate, you can get away with one each – just be sure that you’ve filled all the tortillas generously (recipe for guacamole is here).