Do you know what the absolute best thing is about couscous? I’m not talking about the fact that it cooks in minutes, tastes great and is cheap as chips. Or that you need zero cooking skills to make it. I’m talking about how it’s equally good served hot or cold! Seriously! So you can whip up this giant couscous recipe for dinner, refrigerate the leftovers (assuming you have some) and hey presto – lunch is ready to go!
Way back when I lived and worked in London, I had a house mate who practically lived on couscous. She’d just graduated, had a heap of student debt and was in a lowly position ‘with great prospects’ that she loved with a major publishing house. Needless to say she was earning the square root of zip, so couscous was a brilliant budget stretcher for her (and for me). We ate a lot of it and experimented with lots of variations.
For this couscous recipe I’ve used giant couscous, but ordinary couscous works equally well and it’s pretty good with quinoa or rice too. Giant couscous is also known as Israeli couscous or pearl couscous because of the large size of the grains. It’s cooked in water or vegetable broth and should be cooked until it has a slightly chewy, al dente texture. The teenager refuses to touch it as he claims it looks like frogspawn but it is delicious!
I think it works best with a ‘saucy’ recipe, where there is plenty of sauce to keep the giant couscous moist.
Your choice of sausage is key to the success of this couscous recipe!
Here I’ve used top quality Cumberland sausages, packed with herbs and black pepper, but Merguez sausages are amazing with this dish too. I also always use Italian Pomodoro tomatoes for the extra punch of tomatoey, sunshiney flavour they add. If you’ve got fresh tomatoes and they are well-ripened in the sun, substitute these for the tinned ones.
Giant couscous recipe with sausages in a spicy tomato and chilli sauce
- 1 1/2 cups giant couscous
- 4 flavoursome sausages
- 1 15 oz tin Italian Pomodoro tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium brown-skinned onion, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno, de-seeded and sliced
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1 tbsp olives
- 2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 good quality vegetable stock cube
Using the teeniest drop of olive oil, brown the sausages in a pan
Add the onion and garlic when the sausages have started to turn golden, and fry until the onions are translucent
Pour in the tinned tomatoes and stir, then add the jalapeno, capers and chilli flakes. Leave to simmer until the sauce is reduced and well combined
While the sauce is cooking, add the giant couscous to a pan of boiling water, adding in 1 good quality vegetable stock cube. Cook for 5 minutes until al dente, then drain
Add the couscous and the olives to the sauce, stir well and serve garnished with chopped coriander or basil leaves.
Are you making this recipe? Please leave a comment to let me know and don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #coraliecooks on Instagram so I can see. I LOVE seeing what you come up with.