A cup of tea close at hand is mandatory on afternoons like this.
Of course, more often than not, autumn rain showers tend to hit while I'm walking home wearing super absorbent fabric shoes. This has happened to me twice in the past week.
Adding insult to injury, the rain stopped within minutes of my arriving home... so there was no need for cardigan. Or tea. Or to stare out the window.
And I had very wet feet.
In the end, it was the wet feet that made me long for comfort food. Inspired by two recipes from Martha Stewart Magazine, I put together a Sausage Minestrone Pot Pie.
Sausage Minestrone Pot Pie
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
½ lb turkey sausage, casings removed and meat broken up
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried rosemary
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into ½" cubes
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes, undrained
1 15 oz can navy beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups chicken stock
1 bunch swiss chard, rinsed, chopped
2 potatoes, scrubbed
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375º.
2. In a dutch oven, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage meat and onion to pan and sauté until meat is browned and cooked through. Stir in garlic and herbs and cook for a further minute. Stir in potatoes, carrots, tomatoes with their juices, beans and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until thick.
3. Meanwhile, slice potatoes into 1/8" slices, using a mandoline. Set aside.
4. Add swiss chard to pot and cook until just tender, an additional 3-5 minutes. Pour mixture into a 9" x 13" baking pan. Layer potatoes on top of minestrone mixture, brushing with remaining olive oil as you layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
5. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until potatoes are golden and crisp and mixture is bubbly and thick.