This is a great weeknight meal. It’s very similar to cassoulet, which is a rich, slow-cooked casserole originating in the south of France, containing sausage and other meats. The beauty of this recipe is that unlike cassoulet, it cooks very quickly. I sent my husband, Eric, the shopping list via text message, he actually bought already cooked Portuguese smoke cured sausage seasoned with garlic and paprika. I thought it wouldn’t work, but it was really delicious and I will be making this again.
Sausages with Herbed Beans
2 Tbs plus 1 tsp olive oil
4 large hot or sweet Italian sausages, about 1 lb total
2 large yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs fresh thyme, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
2 cans (each 15 oz) cannellini beans
1/4 cup tomato puree
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Cook the sausages and onions
Preheat an oven to 400°F.
In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the sausages and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and the onion to the pot and sauté until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in the broth and bring to a simmer.
Cook the beans
Add the beans with their liquid and the tomato puree to the pot and cook until the liquid begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Return the sausages to the pot.
Bake the dish
In a small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, cheese and the 1 tsp. olive oil. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.