Thursday, May 23, 2013

Italian Sausage and White Bean Stew

Italian Sausage and White Bean Stew - Photo by Taste As You Go
Italian Sausage and White Bean Stew

I've been meaning to share this recipe for Italian Sausage and White Bean Stew ever since I first prepared it back in February. But I had other recipes in the queue waiting to be published, and then I started interspersing posts about Tuscany and Napa in between my recipes and restaurant reviews. All of a sudden, it was May.

Although it may be a while until you feel up to making this hearty dish, I want to share it with you now before I allow myself to make more excuses.

Bush's Best Cannellini Beans (White Kidney Beans) and Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage - Photo by Taste As You Go
Bush's Best Cannellini Beans (White Kidney Beans) and Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage

The original version of this recipe is from the February 2013 issue of Bon Appetit and calls for chorizo rather than sausage. While I love chorizo, I already had a pound of sausage in the freezer, so I simply adapted the recipe to fit the ingredients I had on hand. Since I was using mild Italian sausage, I threw in some crushed red pepper flakes to give the dish a little heat. (The second time I made this, I used spicy Italian sausage and omitted the red pepper.)

Poultry Blend Package of Herbs (Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme) - Photo by Taste As You Go
Poultry Blend Package of Herbs (Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme)

Poultry Blend Package of Herbs (Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme) - Photo by Taste As You Go
Poultry Blend Package of Herbs (Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme)

Now, the recipe calls for one sprig of fresh thyme. It didn't make sense for me to buy a bunch of thyme, especially since I wasn't planning on using it in another recipe any time soon. Rather than buy the full bunch and waste the majority of it, I purchased a package of Poultry Blend herbs -- rosemary, sage, and thyme. I highly recommend going this route when you only need a small amount of fresh herbs.

Italian Sausage and White Bean Stew - Photo by Taste As You Go
Italian Sausage and White Bean Stew

Stephen and I loved this dish, and he always gets a smile on his face when I tell him that I'm making it for dinner. And, as one might imagine, the leftovers taste even better the next day. I hope you enjoy it! Even if a few months pass until you can try it in your own kitchen. *wink*


Italian Sausage and White Bean Stew
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
4 Servings | Total Time: 45 Minutes | Printable Recipe

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage links
  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 15.5-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 7 ounces baby spinach
  • Crusty bread, sliced (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage links and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Transfer the sausage to a plate and set aside. Drain the oil and wipe the skillet clean.
  3. Heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil in that same skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onion, garlic, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Add the beans and broth. Use the back of a spoon to crush a few of the beans. This will help thicken the sauce. Continue to cook down for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, slice the sausage links and set the pieces to the side. Season the bean mixture with salt and pepper, to taste, and add the red pepper.
  6. Add the baby spinach a handful at a time and cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes.
  7. Fold the sausage slices into the stew and add more chicken broth or water to thin, if desired. Serve hot with slices of crusty bread for dipping.

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