Recipe: chickpea, cavolo nero and harissa stew

Tinned tomatoes are great for making a rich sauce, whether as the main attraction or as a support act for other ingredients, said Samuel Goldsmith. Here, they’re the perfect base for loading with veg and spicy harissa. Don’t feel bound by these vegetables: I often swap the new potatoes for sweet potatoes, cavolo nero for spinach or cabbage, and the courgette for a red pepper.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 courgette, chopped
  • 350g baby potatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1-2 tbsp rose harissa paste
  • 1 × 400g tin chickpeas, drained
  • 1 × 400g tin chopped tomatoes, plum tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 150g cavolo nero, tough stalks removed and leaves chopped salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

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  • parmesan cheese or vegetarian or vegan Italian hard cheese, grated (shredded)
  • plain couscous or thick slices of crusty bread (optional)


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan with a lid over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 8-10 minutes or until beginning to brown.
  • Tip in the garlic and cook for 1 minute before stirring in the courgette and cooking for around 5 minutes or until starting to soften.
  • Tumble in the potatoes, stir through the harissa and cook for 5-8 minutes or until the potatoes are beginning to colour.
  • Scatter in the chickpeas and pour in the tinned tomatoes and stock. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir everything together, pop on the lid and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Check the liquid levels: the sauce should have thickened a little, but you still want plenty of juices. So, if it’s getting slightly dry, pour in a splash of hot water.
  • Once the potatoes are tender, stir in the cavolo nero and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Serve with a scattering of parmesan. This dish goes well with some couscous or slices of crusty bread, if you prefer.

Taken from The Tinned Tomatoes Cookbook by Samuel Goldsmith, published by Murdoch Books at £18.99. To buy from The Week Bookshop for £14.99, call 020-3176 3835 or visit

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