Salsicce con Fagioli

A nourishing and filling dish, Salsicce con Fagioli (sal-see-cheh kohn fah-gce-oh-lec) makes an economical family meal, and is best if it is reheated for serving on the day after it has been cooked. Serve with Italian bread, lots of butter and a bottle of light red wine such as Valpolicella.

1 lb. dried white haricot beans, soaked overnight and drained

2 pints water

2 tablespoons olive oil

14 lb. Italian sausages

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped

2 medium-sized green peppers, white pith removed, seeded and finely chopped

14 oz. canned peeled tomatoes

8 fl. oz. water

1 teaspoon dried sage

1 tablespoon tomato puree

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

Place the beans and water in a large saucepan. Set the pan over moderately high heat and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the beans for 45 minutes or until they are just tender. Remove the pan from

An economical and filling dish of haricot beans and Italian sausages, Salsicce con Fagioli is even better served the day after it is made. the heat and drain the beans in a colander. Set aside.

In a large flameproof casserole, heat the oil over moderately low heat. When it is hot, add the sausages and fry, turning frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes or until they are lightly browned and have rendered some of their fat. With a slotted spoon, transfer the sausages to a plate and keep warm.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the oil in the casserole. Raise the heat to moderate and add the garlic, onions and peppers to the casserole. Fry them, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown.

Add the tomatoes with the can juice and the water, and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to moderately low and cook for a further 3 minutes.

Stir in the sage, tomato puree, sugar, salt and pepper. Add the beans and return the sausages to the casserole. Reduce the heat to low, cover the casserole and simmer the mixture for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, or until the sausages are cooked and the mixture is fairly dry. Remove the casserole from the heat.

Either serve immediately or allow to cool completely and chill overnight in the refrigerator.

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