Seasonal suppers: October: Recipe for Monday dinner

Sausage and apple casserole

  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Takes: 10 mins to prepare and 35 mins to cook
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 pork & apple sausages
  • 2 medium leeks (about 500g), sliced
  • 2 apples, cored and cut into wedges
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 250ml cider or apple juice
  • 1 chicken stock cube, made up to 350ml
  • 2 x 400g tins butter beans

Each serving contains 508 calories, 16.6g sugar, 23.6g fat, 6.7g saturates and 3g salt.

Method

Make this easy sausage casserole recipe for a classic winter warmer. This has a triple apple hit for maximum autumnal flavour - using pork and apple sausages, caramelised apple wedges and a rich apple cider sauce.

  1. Heat ½ tbsp oil in a lidded casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the sausages and fry for 5-6 mins, turning frequently, until golden on all sides. Set aside on plate.
  2. Stir the leeks into the oil left in the pan, add a splash of water, turn the heat up to medium-high and fry for 8-10 mins until soft. Add the apples and fry for another 2-3 mins. Stir in the flour until it dissolves into the juices, then stir in the mustard and cider or apple juice. Add 250ml stock to the pan. Bring to a simmer, nestle in the sausages, cover and simmer for 10 mins, then remove the lid and simmer for 5 mins more until the sauce thickens slightly and the sausages have cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, tip the butter beans (including the water in the tins) into the pan and heat over a medium-high heat until simmering and the butter beans have heated through. Drain, then mash well with 50ml of the remaining stock and some seasoning. Add the remaining stock once mashed for a smoother texture if you like. Serve in shallow bowls with the sausage casserole.

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Seasonal suppers: October: Recipe for Tuesday dinner

Roasted squash and chickpea pilaf

  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Takes: 5 mins to prepare and 30 mins to cook
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2.5cm chunks
  • 1 tbsp ras el hanout seasoning
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 300g long-grain rice
  • 1 vegetable stock pot, made up to 550ml
  • 2 red onions, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1cm piece ginger, peeled and grated
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 15g fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 40g roasted and salted peanuts, roughly chopped

Each serving contains 548 calories, 12g sugar, 14.7g fat, 2g saturates and 1.5g salt.

Method

This colourful roasted squash and chickpea pilaf is a filling winter meal – and if you have any leftovers, it would make a great packed lunch, too.

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Put the squash in a large roasting tin and toss with the ras el hanout and 1 tbsp oil; season lightly. Roast for 30 mins until soft and golden, tossing halfway through.
  2. Meanwhile, put the rice and stock in a lidded saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10-12 mins until the rice is cooked and the stock is absorbed. Set aside with the lid on until needed.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the onions for 15-20 mins, stirring occasionally, until golden. Add the garlic and ginger; fry for 2-3 mins until fragrant. Stir in the chickpeas, rice and most of the parsley.
  4. Divide the pilaf between 4 plates and top with the roasted squash. Scatter over the remaining parsley and the peanuts to serve.

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Seasonal suppers: October: Recipe for Wednesday dinner

Green pasta

  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Takes: 5 mins to prepare and 20 mins to cook
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 350g broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 200g frozen peas
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 15g fresh basil
  • 60g cashew nuts
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 300g wholewheat spaghetti
  • 80g sliced curly kale

Each serving contains 524 calories, 10.8g sugar, 20.4g fat, 3.4g saturates and 0.3g salt.

Method

Easy, speedy and delicious, this simple pasta recipe crams in three different types of green veg to make a healthy midweek meal. Broccoli, peas and kale all combine with spaghetti and creamy cashew nuts for a tasty vegan dish that only takes 25 minutes in the kitchen. It's also dairy-free.

  1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook half the broccoli in it for 4 mins; add half the peas after 1 min. Drain, reserving the cooking water. Refresh under the cold tap and drain again.
  2. Put the cooked vegetables in a small food processor with half the garlic, 2 tbsp oil, the basil stalks and most of the leaves, the cashews, lemon zest and juice and 1 tbsp water. Blitz to form a sauce, stopping now and then to scrape down the sides. Season to taste.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the remaining garlic and fry for about 2 mins, shaking the pan, until the garlic begins to sizzle and has turned pale golden. Drain on kitchen paper – the garlic will become crisp as it cools.
  4. Bring the cooking water back to the boil, topping up if needed, and add the pasta. Simmer for 7 mins, then add the kale, remaining broccoli and peas and simmer for 3-4 mins until the pasta is al dente and the veg is tender. Drain, reserving 150ml cooking water. Return to the saucepan and stir in the sauce and reserved cooking water, tossing to coat thoroughly. Divide between 4 bowls or plates, topping with the crisp garlic and reserved basil leaves to serve.

Tip: Freeze any leftover pesto and use it at a later date.

See more Pasta recipes

Freezing and defrosting disclaimer

In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For mpre tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.

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Seasonal suppers: October: Recipe for Thursday dinner

Cheat’s butternut squash paella

  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Takes: 10 mins to prepare and 35 mins to cook
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • ½ medium butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1cm cubes (about 400g prepped weight)
  • 1 vegetable stock cube, made up to 750ml
  • 300g paella rice
  • 300g frozen sliced green beans
  • 15g parsley, roughly chopped

Each serving contains 399 calories, 9.1g sugar, 8.8g fat, 1.5g saturates and 1.2g salt.

Method

A vegetarian twist on the classic Spanish dish, this autumnal butternut squash paella is an easy shortcut to a hearty midweek meal. Bring the flavours of Spain to your table with plenty of healthy vegetables packed in.
  1. Heat the oil in a wide, shallow casserole or large frying pan over a medium high heat. Fry the onion for 6-8 mins until softened and lightly golden. Stir in the garlic and paprika, fry for 1 min, then add the butternut squash cubes and stir well to coat in the spices.
  2. Pour the stock over the squash and onions in the pan, season and bring to a simmer. Scatter the rice over the stock, stir briefly, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 mins, uncovered and without stirring, until the rice has absorbed most of the stock and the squash is tender when pierced with a fork. If all the stock has been absorbed but the rice is sticking to the bottom of the pan or it still has a crunch in the middle, add 100ml water and cook for 5 mins more.
  3. When the rice is tender, stir through the green beans and cook for another 3-4 mins until all the stock has been absorbed, and the beans are cooked. Scatter over the parsley to serve.

Tip: Make a soup with the leftover butternut squash by simmering cubes in stock with a softened onion, then blend with a little double cream.

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Seasonal suppers: October: Recipe for Friday dinner

Pumpkin gnocchi

  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Takes: 20 mins to prepare and 30 mins to cook
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 400g leftover pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 120g ricotta, drained
  • 50g finely grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 200g plain flour, plus extra to dust
  • 60g salted butter
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 20 sage leaves

Each serving contains 219 calories, 3.2g sugar, 22.6g fat, 13g saturates and 0.9g salt.

Method

This easy homemade gnocchi recipe is the perfect way to use up leftover pumpkin after Halloween. Used instead of traditional potato, the mashed pumpkin gives the finished gnocchi a beautiful golden colour and sweet taste. Cooked with a simple sage butter sauce, this recipe is sure to warm you up on chilly autumnal evenings. If pumpkins are not available, butternut squash works just as well. To make this recipe vegetarian, swap the Parmesan for vegetarian hard cheese.

  1. Steam the pumpkin in a colander set over a pan of simmering water or a steamer pan for 20 mins, or until very soft and tender.
  2. Using a potato masher, mash the steamed pumpkin to a smooth purée. Line a surface with kitchen paper and spread the pumpkin purée over before patting dry to ensure you remove as much moisture as possible.
  3. In a bowl or food processor, mix the pumpkin purée, ricotta, grated Parmesan, the egg, ¼ tsp salt and some black pepper. Stir well to combine, then add the flour and use a wooden spoon to mix to a soft dough, taking care not to ‘overmix’.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and cut into 4. Roll each piece into a 1.5cm wide log. Cut the log into 2cm pieces using a floured knife. Gently mark each gnocchi with the back of a floured fork to achieve the traditional ridges. 
  5. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Tip in half the gnocchi and cook for 1-2 mins, until they rise to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and cook the remaining gnocchi.
  6. Heat 15g butter and the oil in a large frying pan. Add half the gnocchi and fry for 2 mins or until starting to brown. Add 15g more butter and, once melted, add the sage leaves. Fry for 1-2 mins, until the gnocchi are golden all over and the sage is crispy. Repeat with the remaining butter, gnocchi and sage leaves.
  7. Divide between serving plates. Season with a twist of black pepper and some shavings of Parmesan.

Tip: If the dough is too sticky to handle when rolling, add a little more flour, trying to add as little as possible.

Uncooked gnocchi will keep for up to 2 days in the fridge if dusted in flour to prevent them sticking.

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Seasonal suppers: October: Recipe for Saturday dinner

Crispy leek fried rice

  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Takes: 3 mins to prepare and 17 mins to cook
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 100g frozen garden peas
  • 100g baby spinach
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 2 leeks, trimmed, washed and thinly sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 x 250g packs microwave basmati rice
  • 1½ tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1½ limes, ½ juiced, 1 cut into wedges to serve
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp crushed chillies
  • 10g fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Each serving contains 421 calories, 5g sugar, 19.5g fat, 5.1g saturates and 1.7g salt.

Method

Great for clearing out the pantry and as a midweek meal, this high-protein dish is quick, cheap and easy. Finish with crushed chillies and fresh lime juice for an extra kick.

  1. Boil the peas in a saucepan for 2 mins. Add the spinach, simmer for 1 min more to wilt the leaves, then drain well and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Fry the leeks for 5-6 mins until soft and lightly golden, then stir in the garlic and cook for 1 min more. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the butter to the pan, crumble in the rice and press down with the back of a spoon into a single layer. Cook for 5-6 mins, without stirring, until crisp on the bottom. Break up with a wooden spoon, transfer the crispy bottom only to a plate, then stir in the soy sauce, fish sauce, peas, spinach, leeks and lime juice with the rest of the rice. 
  4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining ½ tbsp oil in a separate frying pan over a medium-high heat. Fry the eggs for 3-4 mins until the whites are set and crisp. Stir the crispy rice back into the rice pan, then divide the mixture between 4 plates and top each with a fried egg. Scatter with crushed chillis and corainder and serve with lime wedges to squeeze over.
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Seasonal suppers: October: Recipe for Sunday dinner

Mushroom and leek spaghetti

  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Takes: 3 mins to prepare and 17 mins to cook
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 350g frozen leeks
  • 380g mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 50g (2 slices) crusty white bloomer, blitzed into breadcrumbs
  • 300g spaghetti
  • ½ lemon, zested and juiced
  • 10g fresh basil, leaves picked and roughly chopped

Each serving contains 378 calories, 5.1g sugar, 8.9g fat, 1.3g saturates and 0.7g salt.

Method

Quick, zesty and fresh, this super-healthy vegan spaghetti makes for a super midweek option. Add squeezed lemon juice to the dish to complement the fried mushrooms then finish with a scattering of crispy breadcrumbs for the final flourish.

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the leeks and fry for 5-6 mins until softened. Add the mushrooms, increase the heat to medium-high and fry for 8-10 mins until golden and tender and any water has evaporated. Stir in the garlic and oregano; season and fry for 1 min more until the garlic is fragrant.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a separate frying pan and fry the breadcrumbs over a medium heat for 3-4 mins, stirring frequently, until crunchy and golden. Season, transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti to pack instructions; drain well. Stir into the mushrooms and leeks and toss well. Stir in the lemon zest and juice, then scatter with the basil and crispy breadcrumbs to serve.

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