Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fagioli all'Uccelletto con Salsiccie

I'm so glad my sister requested I make this last night. Fagioli all'Uccelletto is a classic Tuscan dish of cannellini beans, sage and tomatoes. It's often made "con salsiccie" which means with sausage. The best fagioli all'uccelletto I've ever had was in Siena at Antica Trattoria Papei, if you ever find yourself in Siena I highly recommend this restaurant the food and staff make it a truly memorable experience. And you must have a shot of grappa with your waiter at the end of your meal.

About the recipe, I originally used a recipe that was surprisingly Debi Mazar's from People Magazine. I lost the recipe and am not sure I memorized but I threw it together from what I know the flavors to be and what I like, recipe is below:

Fagioli All'Uccelletto co Salsiccie
serves 4

6 sweet Italian Turkey Sausages (we used Hots last night and you can use traditional pork sausage too, whatever your preference)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 28oz can of chopped or diced (not crushed) tomatoes in their own juice (I like Cento or Pastene tomatoes the best)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
2 15 oz cans of cannellini beans or white kidney beans (drained)
a handful of fresh sage leaves
salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once the oven it heated put the sausages in a baking dish and baked for approx 30 mins. Turning halfway thorough the cook time. Cook until they are browned and cooked all the way through.
2. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onions. Saute until the onions become translucent and you can smell the garlic & onion cooking. Don't let the garlic brown.
3. Add the canned tomatoes, bay leaf and Italian seasoning. Cook on medium heat until it begins to bubble. Reduce heat to low, add sage, cover and let cook for 10mins , stirring occasionally. You don't want the juice to reduce too much which is why it's important to keep it covered. If you find all your juices evaporating add a small amount of canned tomato sauce. Be careful you want the mixture to be thick, not too saucy
4. Add white beans to tomato mixture, continue to cook on low heat covered until the Sausages come out of the oven.
5. Cut the sausages into quarters and add to the saute pan. Raise heat to medium and let the whole mixture simmer for approximately 5 mins.
6. Serve and enjoy with crusty Italian bread.

This is a great quick & easy meal that is quite filling. If you don't serve it with bread (which is not necessary just a nice added bonus) it's also low-carb! You can also try to remove the sausage from the casing and brown in saute pan, my sister suggested this and I may try it next time. Buono appetito!

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