Sausage and White Bean “Cassoulet” w/ a Garlic Parmesan Gratin

mmmm… beans… i wanted something thick and hearty to fill my belly while i studied for exams. i needed the study break anyhow.

oh and interesting piece of knowledge that i gathered from researching beans (i research everything i make. i am a nerd). beans, although relatively high in carbs, is also really high in fiber (as i’m sure we’ve all experienced). and because fiber isn’t digested/absorbed by our systems, the “net carbs” in beans is actually much lower. or something to that effect. just look it up. i have enough to study as is.

anyway, all i know is that with a relatively small portion of beans, i feel fuller much faster and for much longer. a small cup is enough to satisfy me in the mornings for several hours until lunch time. also good night time snack as brain food. slow release of glucose etc etc…

so bring on the BEANS.

PS: Have you ever tried the Venison and White Bean Cassoulet from Brennan’s? amazing.

adapted from yet another amazing Epicurious recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 links of Italian sausage. (I used Field Roast vegan sausages. ~12oz)
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 medium large onion, diced. (~ 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbs dried parsley
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • optional: 1/4 cup scallions
  • 1 can diced tomatoes including (most of) the juice
  • 2 cans white beans (1 cannellini, 1 navy)

For topping:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 slices stale white bread, crusts discarded, diced finely.
  • ~1/2 cup panko bread crumbs.
  • 1 small garlic clove, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • grated parmesan

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. heat dutch oven on medium. add 1 tbs vegetable oil and cook sausages (these are wrapped in plastic…please remove..), breaking them up with a flat spatula/wooden spoon as you cook. remove from heat and set aside.
  2. since these sausages aren’t quite as greasy as real pork sausages, you may need a bit more oil. saute onions and garlic until just soft ~5 min. mix in herbs then salt generously.
  3. add tomatoes and bring to a low boil on medium heat.
  4. reduce heat and add sausages back in, including 2 cans of beans. cook on medium heat until heated through.
  5. in a separate pan, heat oil. saute bread (i toasted them first ’cause they weren’t quite stale enough.) until golden. add garlic. remove from heat and mix with panko + parsley and a pinch of salt.
  6. remove bean mixture into cassarole dish. top with bread crumbs.
  7. grate cheese generously over top.
  8. pop in oven on high broil until golden crust forms.
  9. serve as side, entre, or straight out of the dish standing at the stove (:

i love the thick and creamy texture of “bean cassoulets”.  it’s so satisfyingly rich. plus i can always convince myself it’s healthy by using meat substitute sausages.

and why do i keep using quotation marks when i use cassoulet? wiki it. something about duck fat.

note to self: work on this crumb topping business. i need to chop the bread up finer. i’m also not sure how much oil i need when i “saute” said bread. sounds silly to me. perhaps i dont completely grasp the concept of sauteing bread yet. i think it just adds unnecessary oil into the recipe. perhaps i’ll stick to just toasting it in the future. or just use panko.

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