Apr 22, 2018
4 15.5 oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 tbsp olive oil
1-1.5 lbs Italian sausage links, ideally across 6 links
4 deli slices guanciale, cut into lardons
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
2-3 sprigs parsley, finely chopped
¼ cup basil finely chopped
5 tbsp tomato paste
Hard cheese (Parmesan, Romano) for serving
Put the beans in a 4-6 quart saucepan, and place over medium-low heat. The pan should get up to 160-170ºF, but it should not boil.
Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. When hot, add the sausages and brown on two sides. When brown, add the sausages to the pot with the beans and turn off the heat for the dutch oven. Let the beans and sausage slowly cook while you prep the ingredients for the sauce.
Turn the heat for the dutch oven to medium-low, and slowly render the fat from the guanciale. When cooked, add in the garlic and onion and cook until the onions start to brown. Add parsley and basil and stir them in.
Dilute the tomato paste with 2 cups warm water taken from the beans, and add this to the onion mixture. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon and tongs, transfer the beans and sausages to the dutch oven and stir well. Add more bean-and-sausage water as needed for the sauce to cover all of the beans. Cook for 30 minutes or until the beans are soft and have the flavor of the sauce.
Serve a single sausage link surrounded by sauce, and coarsely grate cheese over the top if using.
- Pancetta can be substituted for guanciale
- For a richer sauce, remove two sausages from their casing, and toss chunks of the filling into the sauce after adding the fresh herbs.