Italian food can be as easy as this one-pot dish from Tuscany. This sausages, sage, and white beans dish is hearty, easy to make, and feeds all your newly found hostel friends.
It's a classic dish, and the simple ingredients can be found in any decent supermarket and is easy to cook in a hostel kitchen. Which means it's perfect backpacker travel food when you want to impress. This version feeds 6 easily, once you've got some wine (or beer) and bread to go with it!
This recipe starts a series of one-pot or very simple to make dishes while traveling. Let me know in the comments below about your experiences with this dish, and any suggestions you may have. You can also email me a firstname.lastname@example.org with more recipes you'd like to see published for fellow travel junkies.
- 1 pound dried cannellini or great northern beans, washed and soaked overnight
- 2 quarts fresh water
- 2 tablespoons chopped sage
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons of salt, kosher is best for taste
- 2 medium onions, 1 cut in half and the other chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 1 cup canned chopped tomatoes, drained
- 1/2 pound Italian sweet sausage, remove the casing and crumble it
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 celery, chopped
Preparing this Tuscan dish:
First drain the cannellini beans and the cook them up to a boil in a large pot with the water. You'll get some foam to skim off and then reduce the heat to low. Add the halved onion, 2 of the minced garlic cloves, half the sage and the bay leaf.
Now add 1 teaspoon of salt and cover the pot. Let the pot simmer for 1 1/2 hours, until the beans are very tender, and you've had some of the wine. Drain the pot and measure out 2 1/2 cups of the broth. Throw out the halved onion and bay leaf.
While the beans are cooking, and you're getting the drinks in, heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat and throw in the sausage. Stir for about 7-11 minutes, until the sausage has browned lightly.
Add the chopped onions, carrots, celery and parsley.
Cook the lot, while stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the garlic. After half a minute or so, add the tomatoes, the remaining sage, beans and broth, and continue cooking for 30 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
This should be served with some Parmesan cheese (preferrably fresh) and farm-style bread. Just remember to keep a bottle or two of wine back as you've now been cooking for a couple of hours and everyone will be famished and still thirsty!
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