It was the kind of winter evening when solely sausages would do, and I got here dwelling with each my favorite butcher’s selection and a packet of plump Italian ones – coarse textured and seasoned with fennel seeds and dried chilli. I cooked the lot slowly, in order that their skins had been shiny and sticky as Marmite.

For need of potatoes – which I forgot to select up on the grocer’s– I crushed white haricot beans with a bunch of steamed spinach leaves and turned them right into a mound of fluffy, green-freckled mash.

I need to say that just about any sausage and mash is welcome at my desk, however the most effective will at all times be these whose meat is coarsely floor and open-textured, cooked with care and a watchful eye. The mash will be something that’s smooth and silky – pumpkin, potato, chickpea or cannellini bean, or perhaps a combination of roots, corresponding to parsnips or swede – the latter being welcome solely when served with copious quantities of salted butter and coarsely floor black pepper.

I’ll typically mash chickpeas to go together with merguez sausages (I additionally stir in a bit of za’atar), and creamed haricot with garlicky Toulouse sausages. Rosemary-spiked cannellini mash is beautiful with Italian fennel sausages.

Final winter a puddle of buttery parsnip purée sat particularly nicely with a plate of black pudding and I believe it would once more this 12 months.

Baked sausages with spinach cannellini

In case you are mixing your sausages, then I recommend you place the plumper type in to cook dinner first earlier than including the thinner ones. (These with a superb girth want a decrease warmth if they aren’t to separate.) You may add cream to the spinach and haricot bean mash – not a lot, however it’s good as it’s. A knob of butter stirred in on the finish is a pleasant contact, however higher nonetheless can be sizzling juices from the sausage pan.
Sufficient for 4

groundnut or vegetable oil 3 tbsp
assorted sausages 1kg
rosemary sprigs 8
garlic 8 cloves
bay leaves 3

For the beans:
spinach leaves 200g
hen inventory 200ml
cannellini beans 2 x 400g cans

Wash the spinach leaves and discard any thick stems. Put the leaves, nonetheless dripping moist, in a deep pan, lined by a decent lid, over a average warmth. Allow them to steam for a minute or two, then flip the leaves over with tongs and steam for an additional minute till they’re collapsed and vivid inexperienced. Take away from the warmth and rinse the spinach briefly in chilly water, squeeze firmly, then depart to chill.

Put the spinach within the bowl of a meals processor or blender.

Pour the hen inventory right into a deep pan. Drain the cannellini beans, add to the hen inventory and produce to the boil. Decrease the warmth and let the beans simmer for about 5 minutes. Add them and their inventory to the spinach and course of briefly, till you have got a rough purée. (Take care to not overprocess or it would turn out to be gluey in texture.)

Cook dinner the sausages: put a big frying pan over a average warmth. Heat the oil in a shallow pan to which you have got a lid over a low to average warmth. Add the sausages, beginning with the fats ones first earlier than including the thinner, smaller ones a couple of minutes later. Tuck within the rosemary sprigs, garlic cloves and bay leaves, then let the sausages brown frivolously. Hold an in depth eye on them, turning when the underside is a shiny, golden brown.

Spoon the spinach and bean purée right into a small saucepan and heat over a average warmth, stirring so it doesn’t stick, then serve with the sausages.

Panna cotta with blood orange and pomegranate

‘The perfect wobble’: panna cotta with blood orange and pomegranate.
‘The right wobble’: panna cotta with blood orange and pomegranate. {Photograph}: Jonathan Lovekin/The Observer

Pomegranates and deep carmine blood oranges make a cracking accompaniment for panna cotta. The dessert is on the excellent wobble after about 4 hours within the fridge, however will come to no hurt for those who depart it longer, even in a single day. The portion is small – I take advantage of a fairly mould that holds 175ml, which I discover is simply sufficient for one.
Makes 4 small dishes

For the panna cotta:
inexperienced cardamom pods 12
double cream 400ml
full-cream milk 125ml
caster sugar 90g
gelatine 2 sheets

For the fruit:
pomegranate 1
blood oranges 2

Crack open the cardamom pods and extract the seeds, then crush them to a rough powder utilizing a pestle and mortar. Put the cardamom in a small, nonstick pan with the cream, milk and sugar, and place over a average warmth. Deliver the cream nearly to the boil, then take away from the warmth, cowl with a plate and depart to infuse for half-hour.

Soak the gelatine in a bowl of chilly water for 10 minutes or till it has turn out to be smooth. Heat the infused cream gently, stirring repeatedly, for two or 3 minutes, however by no means let it come to the boil. Raise the gelatine from the water and drop into the cream, stirring with a wood spoon till it has dissolved, then take away from the warmth.

Pour the cream by a sieve suspended over a jug. Pour into 4 small ramekins and refrigerate for 4 hours, or till frivolously set.

Halve the pomegranate, take away the seeds, discard any with pith, and save as a lot juice as you’ll be able to. Slice the peel from the oranges and take away any pith. Slice into segments, eradicating the pores and skin as you go and blend with the pomegranate.

Heat the ramekins briefly by dipping them for a couple of seconds in sizzling water, then end up the panna cotta into small dishes. Spoon the pomegranate, orange segments and their juices over the little puddings on the final minute.

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