Sausage and Beans (Salsiccie e Fagioli)

This recipe is a good example of the Italian cook’s ability to stretch a modest amount of meat to feed an entire family. Here, the sausage is cooked with beans and acts more as a flavoring than the focal point of this dish. Serve this stew with good bread to soak up every drop and stretch the meat even further.

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/martinturzak]
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/martinturzak

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 35 to 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil

1-1⁄2 pounds hot Italian sausage, cut into 2-inch pieces

8 cloves garlic, peeled

2 sprigs fresh sage

1⁄3 cup white wine

1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes

5 cups cooked cannellini beans

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.

    Add the sausage, garlic, and sage and cook, turning occasionally so that the sausages brown evenly.

  2. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue cooking, loosely covered, until the sausages are cooked through, about 10 minutes.

    Drain and discard the fat from the skillet.

  3. Add the wine and let it boil until it completely disappears, about 3 minutes.

  4. Add the tomatoes and the beans and season with salt and pepper.

    Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, adding a touch of water, if necessary, to keep the mixture moist.

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