Thursday, April 7, 2011

Italian Sausage, White Bean, & Tomato Bake

It's not always an easy feat trying to find really good Italian Sausage here in Minnesota. Potato sausage? Sure, no problem, with all the Scandinavians (including me) that call this place home it's quite easy. But, there are few places here in the Twin Cities that procure and sell quality, authentic Italian goods - and I rarely have time to ever get to them. Thanks to my mom who stopped by one recently, and got enough sausage to share with me. What a treat!

This week has been crazy busy, so I've been strapped for time when it comes to making dinner.  I threw this sausage together with some white beans, tomato, garlic, and herbs, and baked it for 30 minutes.  The house smelled divine while this was in the oven.  Now, at this point you could just serve with some crusty french bread, a nice side salad, and call it a day.  Or you can be like me and serve it atop some browned butter pasta.  Oh my goodness. 

Whatever you choose, this dish was so tasty and flavorful.  The sausage was outstanding - and was such a perfect match with the tomatoes and beans. 

Enjoy this one!

Italian Sausage, White Bean, & Tomato Bake
Recipe by A Toast to Taste
Photos by A Toast to Taste 

Ingredients Needed:
1 lb Italian Sausage
1 15oz can diced tomatoes (or a pint of fresh grape tomatoes - I used a combo of both)
2 15 oz cans white beans (I used butter beans)
5 cloves garlic, smashed
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, removed from stem
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

To serve with Browned Butter Pasta:
1 lb pasta - your choice
3 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese, finely grated
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

To a 9x13 baking dish add beans, tomatoes, sausage, garlic, and herbs.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.

At this point, if you plan to eat the dish as-is then you're done!  But, if you want to serve with the pasta, then while the dish is baking, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Cook pasta according to instructions on the box.  Drain and set aside.

Heat large skillet over medium heat.  Add butter.  Once the butter is melted it will foam up and then subside.  Brown specks will begin to appear at the bottom of the pan.  Smell the butter - it should have a nutty aroma at this point.  Remove from the heat and place on cool surface to prevent further cooking.  Add drained pasta, cheese, salt and pepper, and toss together.  Spoon into bowl, top with sausage dish.

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