Lola and Finn's Mum

Lola and Finn's Mum

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Like baked beans, only better! Simmered beans with sausage and tomato

Well, maybe. Baked beans are pretty damn amazing. Maybe I should have said 'different'.

Last week we had Summer again, several days of fabulous temperatures, coinciding with Lola's return to school (and, indeed, my return) which is irritating but not wholly unexpected as these things seem to happen when it comes to 'Britain' and 'weather'. Now we're back to something more Autumnal and I don't know whether it's just contrast but it's a bit chilly! So something a little more hearty was in order, and this Italian style dish was very satisfying as well as registering very low on the 'faff' scale, which is very important on weeknights where frankly, in this house, it is total chaos. In fact it's a wonder we get fed at all.

Sausages. I do love them. For this to be authentically Italian, (well as authentically Italian as it can be in a little kitchen somewhere near Liverpool) you should be using Italian type sausages, or at least the meaty type. Mine were bought at Sainsburys and they were quite fennel-ly. I think that the sausages you need to buy have to be the tasty robust type and not the cheaper sort.

Lola and Finn like sausages and beans. Not surprisingly, they liked this. Fantastico!

Simmered White Beans with Sausage and Tomato, taken from 'Italian Comfort Food' by Julia Della Croce.

Serves Lola, Finn, Mum and Dad


2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves
1lb 'meaty' (Italian) sausages
1 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp dried sage
125ml meat stock (I used beef)
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tin of cannellini beans, drained
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley

In a frying pan over a medium low heat, warm the olive oil. add the onion and garlic and saute gently until totally softened but not browned.

Remove the onions and garlic from the pan and transfer to a bowl, in preparation for adding later.
Add the sausages to the pan (I cut mine up; the original recipe suggested removing the skins and allowing the sausage meat to break down into chunks, but I like texture and I wanted the kids to see that it was actually sausages) and brown a little.
Return the onion and garlic to the pan and add the tomato puree, sage and stock and some seasoning to taste. Bring to the boil.
Add the cannellini beans and bring to the boil again then reduce to a simmer. Partially cover and cook gently for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Sprinkle with parsley and serve with crusty bread.

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