Cannellini Beans & Italian Sausage
Easy and tasty. This was an easy and fast meal. I substituted 2 cans of rinsed, drained beans instead of the dried beans. I use cream cheese and Romano instead of mascarpone and it tasted great. Even better next day — Cindy b
Servings8 to 10
- 2 packages (19 ounces each) JOHNSONVILLE® Mild Italian Sausages
- 2 cups dried cannellini beans
- 10 fresh sage leaves (separated, and more for garnish)
- 1 medium tomato, cored and halved
- 1/4 cup Bertolli® Classico Olive Oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 2/3 cup carrots, finely chopped
- 2/3 cup celery, finely chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cups crushed canned plum tomatoes
- 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1-1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese* (can substitute with cream cheese)
- Place the beans in a large bowl with water, using your hand swirl the beans around to rinse them and discard any small stones or beans that look brown.
- Drain the beans in a colander, rinse and refill the bowl with beans and a generous amount of water (at least 2 to 3 inches above the beans) and let soak overnight or for at least 6 hours.
- Drain the beans, rinse well and place in a Dutch oven or large pot. Add 7 cups water, 5 of the sage leaves, the tomato halves and bring to a boil uncovered over med-high heat.
- Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook uncovered until the beans are tender 1 ½ to 2 hours, be sure to test for doneness.
- Drain and reserve the beans, discard the sage and tomato halves.
- In a large sauce pan, heat Bertolli® Classico Olive Oil over medium heat. Add garlic, 5 remaining sage leaves, onions, carrots, celery, red pepper flakes and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes until the ingredients are soft and translucent.
- Stir in the cooked beans and crushed tomatoes. Add the salt, pepper and the chicken stock.
- Stir together and simmer gently. When all ingredients are combined and warmed, stir in the mascarpone cheese until melted and evenly folded into the tomato and bean mixture.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover saucepan to keep warm and turn off heat until ready to serve.
- Cook the sausage by braising or grilling.
- Once the sausages are cooked, transfer them to a cutting board and cut into halves or thirds.
- Transfer the warm beans to individual bowls and arrange sausage pieces on top.
- Garnish with a sprig of fresh sage.
- To serve 4 to 5, prepare the same recipe with 1 package of Johnsonville Italian sausage.
- * mascarpone cheese is a mild flavored, creamy Italian cheese and can be found in the specialty cheese section of most grocery stores.