Italian sausage and white bean braise is a super-easy start-up variation on meatballs. The key is to buy good-quality pork and fennel sausages, either at your local butcher or the supermarket.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, crushed or grated
1 carrot, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
4 flat-leaf (Italian) parsley sprigs, leaves picked, chopped
300 g (10 1/2 oz) Italian sausages (such as pork and fennel)
125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) red wine (optional)
1 x 400 g (14 oz) tin diced tomatoes
2 x 400 g (14 oz) tins cannellini (lima) beans, drained and rinsed
crusty bread, to serve
1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and cook the onion, garlic, carrot, celery and parsley for 10 minutes. Add a little water to stop it from sticking.
2. Squeeze the sausage mix out of the skins into small balls directly into the pot. Colour the meat on all sides.
3. Add the red wine (if using), tomatoes, beans and 250 ml (8 1/2 fl oz/1 cup) water.
4. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 30 minutes.
5. Adjust the seasoning by adding salt and pepper to taste, and serve with bread. If doubling up the recipe, split the mixture in two and allow the extra meal to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight before freezing for later use.
Recipe notes: Use butter or borlotti (cranberry) beans if you don’t have cannellini beans.
Recipe excerpted with permission from The Plan Buy Cook Book by Jan Petrovic and Gaby Chapman, published by Hardie Grant Books January 2020, RRP $24.99 Flexibound.
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