Food-Inspired by Tuscan Nostalgia
This is a tribute to Italy, a place that has brought our family tremendous joy every time we’ve visited throughout the last few years. I still believe that rural Italy delivers some of the best cooking on our planet.
This sausage and bean casserole recipe is inspired by an incredible dinner during our last visit to Tuscany, at the Agriturismo Corboli in Vernio. Our flight was delayed and when we finally arrived at our accommodation just after 9 pm, the owner of the farm served us with the most incredible meal.
The type of sausage you use in this recipe makes all the difference, look for high welfare, organic and regeneratively farmed pork sausages.
Below is a recipe inspired by this trip, warm comforting and humble.
Italian Sausage and Bean Casserole
- 6 large or 8 medium-sized organic or high welfare pork sausages
- 1 large organic onion
- a splash of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves of organic garlic, crushed
- 250 ml organic chicken stock
- 1 400g can of chopped organic tomatoes or 500g organic cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 400g can of organic cannellini beans, with starchy liquid
- 1 tsp fennel crushed finely
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried sage or a few fresh sage leaves
- Pre-heat the oven at 200C/fan 180C/Gas mark 6
- Heat the oil in a large ovenproof pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saut? for 3 mins, then add the garlic and cook for another 2 mins or until the onions start to soften.
- Add the sausages to the pan and cook for 5 mins or until they are golden. Then add the crushed fennel seeds and fry with the sausages until they become fragrant.??
- Add the tomatoes, beans with liquid, stock and other herbs to the pan. Transfer to the oven and cook for 30 mins.
- Season to taste and serve.
As a family, we are actively reducing the amount of meat we eat, keeping it to around 100g per person per meaty meal. So in my version below I have halved the sausages from our butcher as they were enormous. Our motto is not just to have meat-free Mondays but to have meat as a treat only a few times a week and not an everyday staple. I like serving my casserole with mash for extra comfort, but I don’t believe that is the traditional Italian way.