An easy stove-top dish that warms the soul with its rich flavours. It's delicious served with lightly steamed broccoli and crusty bread.
This is adapted (for chefs who don't have time to cook raw beans) from one of the most inspiring cookery books I've ever used - Marcella Hazan's The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. Serves 4.
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp chopped onion
Half a tsp chopped garlic
6 tbsp chopped carrot
6 tbsp chopped celery
255g tin chopped Italian plum tomatoes
450g mild pork sausages (no herbs or strong spices)
1 tin beans (black-eyed, cannellini, flageolet), rinsed and drained
Choose a heavy, wide-bottomed sauté pan, and on a medium heat, warm the olive oil and cook the onion to a light gold. Add the garlic and cook lightly, then the carrot and celery, stirring thoroughly to coat well. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes with their juice, cover, and lower the heat to cook at a gentle but steady simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the sausages to the pot, puncturing them in several places with a fork. Cook at a steady simmer for 15 minutes, turning the sausages from time to time. Add the beans to the pot, bring to a steady simmer, and cook for about 5 minutes. Season to taste and serve from the pot on the table.