Now that we're firmly moving into warmer weather and gloriously long spring and summer days, I thought it was high time I gave Annie the recipe for the hearty, one-pot sausage and bean dinner that regularly graces our weeknight evenings.
I feel bad that it took me so long.
This is a ridiculuously easy meal that we make ridiculously often. On this particular night, I baked everything in the oven, but often enough, I'll simmer it on the stovetop. It's all in one pot, either way.
Beans, tomatoes, onions, chicken sausage, garlic, a splash (or seven) of sherry and some vinegar to finish (one of the best tricks I learned from the Kitchen Counter Cooking School), and you have a perfect meal without a lot of fuss or cleanup.
Thinking that my family was tired of it, I'd stopped making it for a few weeks, but one night when pressed for time (and we generally always have these staples in the house), I popped it back into the rotation. When I told Callum what we were having for dinner, he said, "I love that meal." So in the rotation it stays. I'm sure it'll be just as good all summer...
Here are the deets:
Two cans white beans (I use great northern)
1 white onion, chopped in wedges
Any tomatoes you have on hand, roughly chopped (I halved a handful or two of red & yellow cherrys)
Some garlic cloves
A pack of chicken sausage (or any sausage, really)
IF you're doing this on the stove top, in a heavy skillet, slice the sausage into inch rounds and then lightly saute to release some of the oil, then add the onion and garlic. Once soft, add the beans, tomato and some sherry. You could also add some brown sugar if you want. Let this all burble nicely together for awhile (as long as you want, really), until ready to serve. Once ready to serve, add a splash of vinegar and stir.
IF you're doing this in the oven, put all the ingredients (except the vinegar) into a baking dish at once. Instead of slicing the sausage into rounds, make some slashes into each link and place on top of the beans. Pop the dish into a 375º oven for 30-45 minutes. This is a very forgiving meal (When we made it the night I took these photos, Cal & Neel were over half an hour late from school and dinner sat just fine. All was well.), so you can fudge on the longer end if you need. When ready, add a splash or two of vinegar and stir and serve.