Whenever I’m in France, I always enjoy visiting cozy little bistros that serve comfort food dishes like sausages with beans. When I’m not in France, here is the recipe I use.
- 1/2 lb. dried cannellini, Great Northern, Navy or other of your favorite beans
- Handful of fresh sage leaves (4-5)
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 4-5 black peppercorns
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- Sausage links: sweet Italian, garlic, andouille, etc. — whatever your favorite is, 1 link per serving
- 1 shallot, peeled and minced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 1/4 tsp. red-chili pepper flakes
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Rinse the beans under cold water, place into a large pot, cover with plenty of water and allow to soak for at least four hours.
- To cook the beans, drain and return the beans to the pot. Add water to cover the beans by at least an inch, along with 2 Tbs. olive oil, the sage leaves, 2 cloves crushed garlic and the black peppercorns. Gently bring the beans to a simmer and cook for one hour.
- Check the beans for tenderness. If necessary, continue cooking until they are al dente — slightly firm, but not crunchy. When the beans are finished cooking, add salt to taste. Don’t add salt during cooking since it can make the beans tough. Drain the beans and set aside. You can also pick out the crushed garlic and sage leaves and discard them, if you wish.
- Heat 2 Tbs. olive oil in a large skillet and lightly brown the sausage links over medium heat.
- Remove the sausages from the skillet and set aside. Add the 2 minced garlic cloves and minced shallot to the hot skillet, cooking until soft — three to four minutes.
- Add the tomato puree to the skillet, along with the chili flakes and sausages and cook until the sausages are cooked through, about five minutes.
- Add the cooked beans to the pan with the sausage and stir gently to mix well. Try not to break up the beans.
- Heat until the beans are warmed through and serve with a side salad, crusty bread, or accompanying dish.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.