Comforting and delicious, this is great served as a meat-free dinner or, without the killer croutons, it makes a damn fine side dish at any barbecue or with roasted meats. Feel free to use tinned butter beans or even chickpeas in this recipe if they’re your favourites – this is the ultimate in baked beans, so make it your own.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Peel the onions and garlic, then finely slice with the chilli. Peel and chop the carrots. Put all these into a large roasting tray and place on a medium heat with a lug of oil, the paprika, cumin and chilli flakes. Cook for 20 minutes, or until softened, stirring regularly. Meanwhile, scrub the sweet potatoes clean, then rub them with a little oil, salt and pepper, place on a baking tray and put aside.
When the time’s up, stir the passata into the tray, add a splash of water to the empty jar, swirl it around and pour it in along with the beans (juice and all). Drizzle over the BBQ sauce, season lightly with salt and pepper and stir well. Pick and roughly chop the rosemary leaves, toss in a little oil and sprinkle over the top, then place in the oven for around 1 hour, or until bubbling, baked and gorgeous, adding a splash or two of water to loosen, if needed. Put the tray of sweet potatoes into the oven for the same amount of time, or until soft and cooked through.
Around 20 minutes before the beans are ready, tear the bread into rough chunks and toss with a drizzle of oil in a roasting tray. Grate over the Cheddar (if using) then place on the bottom shelf of the oven for around 15 minutes, or until crispy and golden, to make croutons.
Remove everything from the oven, tear up or squidge open the potatoes, and serve with the beans, dollops of yoghurt and the homemade croutons to mop up that delicious sauce, with a simple green salad on the side.