TUSCAN SHEPHERD’S PIE – NATURALLY GLUTEN-FREE

Tuscan Shepherd's Pie

I have a confession to make: I deceive my children and I have been doing it for years. And I even do it as often I can and with great relish because I really relish seeing them eating things they think they don’t like! Or that they are eating. I don’t even feel bad about it because I’m not secretly force-feeding them drugs or poison, just vegetables and legumes. One of my latest inventions in this field is mashed potatoes and white beans, I’ve been doing this a lot and no one has complained but I know that they would if they knew so I deceive them and I will go on doing this as long they have these silly notions about what they want to eat and not eat without really knowing what they are talking about. Now I never force them to eat things I know they really don’t like but when I know it has to do with some kind of brain child of theirs, I gladly deceive!

Tuscan Shepherd's Pie

So last time I did this potato-bean mash I made too much and had to think of ways of conversion and I suddenly thought that I had to try to make a Tuscan Shepherd’s Pie. One of my favourite Tuscan dishes is fagioli all’uccelletto, a lovely filling, comfort food dish with white beans, sage and tomatoes that you often eat with salsicce and I thought, why not try to make a shepherd’s pie based on these ingredients? I did and it turned out really well so I thought it would be a good recipe for my Gluten-free Friday series. If you are not sure that the salsicce are gluten-free, you just substitute them with minced pork or beef. Do the same if you cannot get good salsicce or if you don’t like them!

Tuscan Shepherd's Pie

TUSCAN SHEPHERD’S PIE – NATURALLY GLUTEN-FREE
4-6 servings

ragú/meat sauce:
500 g/1,1 lb salsicce/Italian pork sausages. You can substitute them with minced pork or beef or a mix of both
1 onion, finely chopped
800-1000 ml/3,4-4,2 cups tomato sauce (it depends on how dense it is and how dense you want the final result to be)
4-5 sage leaves, either chopped or as they are depending on how intense you want the sage flavour to be
salt
extra-virgin olive oil

mash:
500 g/1,1 lb peeled potatoes
350 g/ 0,77 lb white beans, cooked
milk or cooking water
parsley, finely chopped, optional
salt

– Take out the meat of the sausages and mash it before gently frying it with the chopped onion and the sage until the meat has browned slightly.
– Add the tomato sauce and leave the ragú to simmer for about 1 hour, if you are in a hurry, 45 minutes will do too.
– Meanwhile, cut the potatoes in large chunks and boil together with the already cooked beans until the potatoes are soft. Drain off the liquid but keep it in case you need to loosen up the consistency of the mash and you don’t want to use milk.
– Press the potatoes and the beans through a potato ricer into a bowl, add as much milk or cooking liquid as you need to make a smooth mash. Add the parsley and stir.
– Take out an oven-proof form and spread out the meat sauce evenly in the bottom of it. Make a second and covering layer with the mash, I made it a bit fancier by piping it out with a pastry bag but that is not at all needed.
– Bake in a pre-heated oven (200°C/390°F) for about 20 minutes or until the top layer has browned.

Tuscan Shepherd's Pie

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