A friend and I were recently chatting, and the conversation turned to food. Is it me, or do all conversations inevitably lead to food? It may just be me, but it’s one of my favorite topics, and eating is something we all have in common. Anyway, she was looking for some new dinner ideas… but there were parameters- suggestions had to be kid friendly, accommodate allergies, and be on the table quickly. Immediately, one of my favorite go to meals came to mind, Italian Sausage, Beans, and Greens.
There are several reasons why this dish ticks so many boxes in the “pro” column. It’s delicious, done in 30 minutes, needs only a few basic ingredients, and is so flexible in terms of those ingredients. The basics include Italian sausage, cannellini beans, and greens. I make this with Italian pork sausage, but feel free to use chicken sausage or turkey sausage. The beauty of using Italian style sausage is that it has all the seasoning you’ll need- other than any salt and pepper added to taste at the end. Cannellini beans are easy to have on hand, I usually have a few cans in the pantry. The greens I use depend on what’s available; kale, chard, spinach, arugula, rapini, mustard greens, and dandelion greens all work really well. Stick with one type or combine your favorites. Even the measurements are just guidelines. Add more or less of the sausage, beans, or greens. There is plenty of room to play in order to suit your tastes. It’s all good!
My friend declared this a hit in her home, and has made it multiple times since. Now she’s looking for more new ideas… 🙂
Do you have favorite recipes that immediately jump to mind when someone asks, “What are you making for dinner?” What makes a dish one of your “go to” meals?
Italian Sausage, Beans, and Greens
4 Italian sausage, about 1lb total (I used 2 sweet and 2 spicy)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch kale, rinsed, stems removed and leaves chopped
1 bunch swiss chard, rinsed, stems removed and leaves chopped
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan for passing
loaf of crusty bread (optional)
In a large saucepan, parboil the sausage links, about 5 minutes. While the links are parboiling, I carefully prick them to release the liquified fat that has accumulated under the casings. Remove from the water, cool slightly and slice crosswise into ½-inch pieces.
Heat olive oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmery, add sliced sausage. Be careful! There will be some splattering. Sauté sausage on both sides until brown, approximately 5 minutes. Remove sausage and set aside.
Return sauté pan to burner, lower heat to medium low and add greens. Stir to coat in any oil or sausage bits remaining in pan. Cover and cook until wilted, 2 minutes.
Add cannellini beans to wilted greens and stir to combine. Add sausage back to pan and heat everything through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately with crusty bread, passing parmesan for grating.