Friday, March 26, 2010

Sausages with White Beans in Tomato Sauce

I have to admit that I am very pleased with this series of recipes.  Somehow it all came together with very little effort from me.  I had everything I needed for every single recipe, with the exception of fresh bread (which you really need to purchase fresh every time if you really want to do things the right way) and some produce.  If the squid salad was nice and summery and light - perfect for a meal on a warm spring or summer day, these sausages were perfect for a cool spring, fall or winter meal.  Luckily, the beginning of this week was nice and warm and it got cooler and damper as the week went on.  So somehow the recipes even ended up matching with the weather.

I have never been much of a bean eater.  I have friends (who will remain nameless), who can eat black beans straight out of a can.  I am so not into beans like that.  Truth be told, the only beans I actually like are white beans and I only like them some of the time.  This dish was a perfect white bean dish for me.  It was hearty and rich, not to mention flavorful, but it didn't tip over into the overly starchy, heavy realm of bean dishes that I really dislike.  And the beans retained some of their bite so they didn't dissolve into mush in your mouth, which is another tendency of beans that I really dislike.  Instead, this recipe had wonderfully savory chunks of Italian sausage stewed in a mixture of San Marzano tomatoes and hearty white beans.  While not a show-stopping 4 star dish, it was tasty and filling.  Not only that, it was remarkably easy and quick to prepare (once you have the white beans made that is).  Come next fall I will definitely be adding this dish to the regular rotation.  I can make the white beans over the weekend and then for an easy weeknight meal just throw them in there with the sausages, sage and tomatoes.  On a busy night in the middle of the work week, that's my kind of meal - beans and all.

Recipe after the jump!

Sausages with White Beans in Tomato Sauce
October 2009

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
6 whole sweet Italian sausages (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into thirds
6 cups cooked white beans with 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid (see Cannellini Beans with Garlic and Sage )
1 14-to 15-ounce can plum tomatoes in juice; tomatoes chopped, juice reserved
2 large fresh sage sprigs
1 cup (or more) water
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic.  Sauté garlic until golden, about 2 minutes.  Add sausages to skillet.  Sauté until browned, about 5 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup reserved bean cooking liquid, tomatoes with juice, and sage.  Simmer mixture uncovered for 5 minutes.  Add beans and 1 cup water. Cover and simmer until sausages are cooked through, adding more water by 1/4 cupfuls if necessary, about 30 minutes.  Uncover and simmer until sauce thickens, if desired.  Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon into bowls and serve with a nice salad and fresh bread.

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