Cassoulet is amazing but after a few bites my stomach hurts. I wanted to create a version of meat and beans that was quicker, lighter and healthier - with all the of comfort and none of the guilt. —susanm
4+ some leftover
brussels sprouts, quartered
giant carrot, diced small
(raw) sweet/mild italian sausage links - pork, chicken or turkey
You will make this recipe start to finish in the same pan, so grab a nice big dutch oven or saute pan. Start by toasting the fennel seeds for a few minutes, until they are fragrant. Remove and grind, or crush with a mortar and pestle, then set aside.
In the same pan bring a few inches of water to a boil. Blanch the broccolini and brussels sprouts, drain and set aside. Once cooled, cut up the broccolini into small pieces - both stems and stalks.
Add a few turns of olive oil to the pan and turn the flame to low. Throw in the garlic and let it gently brown, not burn, then remove and discard.
Turn the flame to medium-high, remove the sausages from their casings and add to the pan. Season with toasted fennel and red pepper flakes, and brown until fully cooked, breaking it into small pieces as you go. Remove and set aside.
There should be some olive oil left in the pan (if not add a bit more), along with some nice brown bits. Add the carrots, season with s+p, and cook over medium flame for a few minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the tomato paste and continue to cook together for a few more minutes. The tomato paste will caramelize and stick to the bottom, that is ok.
Add the white wine and turn up the flame so it bubbles. Continue to cook, scraping up the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan as it reduces to sort of a glazy coating.
Bring the flame back to medium and add the beans. Cook for a few minutes and add the blanched brussels and broccolini, seasoning with s+p. After a few more minutes add the sausage back into the pan and stir it all together. Add the chicken stock and let it bubble and reduce.
After a few minutes more of cooking, the liquids will have reduced to a glaze. Now check the seasoning...add more s+p if necessary.
Turn off the heat and add the butter, stirring it into to the warm mixture. It will further glaze and coat the dish. Done!
Serve in oversized pasta bowls, garnished with freshly grated parmigiano reggiano...and some warm, crusty bread on the side.