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One of my favourite meals is butter bean bake – a great, slightly more healthy alternative to pasta bake. The original recipe was from this great cookbook full of simple family recipes from around the world. The recipe (if you can call it that) that I use has evolved over time from the original one, and is probably different every time I cook it. It’s just a great recipeas to use up lots of vegetables, and a forgiving one if they’re past their best. Here’s what usually goes into it but as I said its easily customisable, the beans and tomato sauce are the only essentials and you could even use chickpeas or some other bean if you’re not keen on butter beans.

  • 2 tins of butter beans
  • 2 diced peppers
  • 2 roughly chopped red onions
  • 1 small courgette roughly chopped
  • 10 small broccolli florets
  • One jar bertolli tomato and basil pasta sauce (you could really use any brand or use supermarket passata but I love bertolli)

Then just combine them all and bake in a casserole dish. I bake at about 150° for 35-45 minutes – long enough for the edges to become black and the butter beans on the top to start to rupture and become crispy – aka delicious. Towards the end of the cooking time, I usually add some grated cheese too. A great alternative to pasta bake, especially for veggies as the beans are full of protein.

Here’s what it looks like just out of the oven.

And here’s how I like to eat it with some wholemeal bread and roasted kale. This meal is super healthy as it contains SIX of your five a day!