Sausage and Beans, Tuscan Style
Sausage and Beans is a simple skillet supper in the Tuscan style that can be made vegan by leaving out the sausage and cheese or substituting vegan sausage and cheese.
Begin with a soffritto of onions, red bell peppers, and carrots; sauté in extra virgin olive oil until lightly browned. Read details about soffritto in a post from the Fall of 2010.
To the soffritto, add Italian sausage, or mushrooms for a vegan version, and sauté until the sausage or mushrooms are done. Drain if there is a significant amount of water or fat.
Open and drain a can of cannellini beans, then add to the pan. Stir in some diced tomatoes, either fresh or roasted (canned or boxed diced tomatoes work well). Add some Italian herb mixture or a chiffonade of basil and oregano, and a splash of red wine. Simmer for a few minutes until the tomatoes are done and the flavors have had a chance to mingle. Adjust the seasoning.
If you find yourself needing to add an extra plate or two because someone brought unexpected guests or you're feeding a teenager, add some cooked pasta. Small pasta like orecchiette or cavatelli would be perfect.
Serve in a soup plate, optionally with a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and minced Italian (flat-leaf) parsley. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on top for a more authentic touch to this non-authentic dish. A nice glass of Chianti and a hunk of ciabatta or other crusty bread will complete the meal.