by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez / Sunday, November 25, 2012
Italian Sausage & White Bean Bake
I consider myself blessed to have celebrated Thanksgiving in my home with my family while enjoying good food cooked in my kitchen and watching football on television. For that, and all of the other gifts in my life, I am thankful.
Not everybody was as fortunate this year. Many victims of Superstorm Sandy are without their homes...their kitchens...their televisions. They are thankful for their lives and the lives of their loved ones. They are strong. They are rebuilding. But they could use our help.
And while it may seem small in the scope of things, nothing compares to something homemade shows up at your door when you are feeling low. A gesture. A dish that warms not only your body, but also your heart and your soul. This comforting casserole is full of warmth from the creamy white beans to the sweet Italian sausage to the scent of the herbs mingling with both in the steam that makes its way through the crispy bread crumb topping. Deliver it to the door of somebody who needs it...maybe take along a green salad, a bottle of white wine, and a pan of brownies for a complete meal.
- 2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
- 1½ lb. sweet Italian sausage
- 3 leeks (white & light green parts), halved lengthwise & sliced into half moons
- 2 carrots, sliced about same size as leeks
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- ½ c. white wine
- 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 (15 oz.) cans cannellini or great northern beans, drained & rinsed
- small handful fresh parsley, chopped
- leaves stripped from a few sprigs fresh thyme
- ~10 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 c. bread crumbs (fresh or dry, fine or coarse, or a mix)
Michiana-based food, drink, and travel writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, single malt Scotch, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.