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Tuscan Cannellini Beans With Sausage


A Tuscan inspired recipe where savory notes come from the garlic and sage and sings with the flavor from the tomatoes. The cannellini beans are the backbone to the dish and the sausage imparts its' own flavor and makes this a very hearty family meal.

My love of Tuscany started many years ago in 2007 when I received the "Essentials of Italian" cookbook. Williams-Sonoma takes you through the regions of Italy giving you information on the food and customs of the regions. Then I watched Under The Tuscan Sun with Diane Lane - late to the party as it was released in 2003. It further sparked my love affair with Tuscany and was most recently reinforced with Stanley Tucci's "Search for Italy". 

That all brought me back to the cookbook where I actually had some recipes tagged for making "someday".  One of the recipes in the book which I had tagged inspired me to make this easy budget friendly meal. The recipe was Cannellini Beans with Garlic and Sage. I knew this was the one I needed to make and blog here at Cooking On A Budget while putting my own spin on it.

  • 2 - 15.5 oz. cans cannellini beans
  • 1 lb. ground Italian sausage
  • 1 - 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 - 8 oz. can tomato sauce* (see note in direction number 3)
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, split
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  1. In a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat add one tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the sausage to the pan and break it up into smaller pieces. Sauté sausage until it browns a bit then transfer to a waiting bowl.
  2. Turn down the heat to medium low and add in the last tablespoon of olive oil. Add in the minced garlic and sage, stir and cook until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  3. Add in the diced tomatoes, sausage and cannellini beans. Stir to combine and cook covered over medium low heat for about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it and if there is not enough liquid* add in the can of tomato sauce.
  4. Continue to cook covered for about 15 more minutes or until the beans are cooked through.

I like serving dishes like this family style as I imagine they would do in Tuscany. Family and food is everything in Italy and to share the food with friends is a blessing to them. That is one of the things that drew me liking "Under The Tuscan Sun" so much. It was about family. It was about food. It was about friendships.

Tuscan cooking makes perfect sense - it is all about preserving the quality of the ingredient. The herbs that are primarily used in Tuscan cooking are fresh parsley, sage, basil, bay leaves, rosemary and oregano. Most of the sausage is dry cured and they thrive on beans, bread, cheese, tomatoes and even the bounty from the sea as Tuscany is located along the Italian coastline. Using cannellini beans was a way of making a hearty meal for not a lot of money. So with a few additions to the cannellini beans the Tuscans could marry their limited funds and make a hearty meal for their families.

Here at Cooking On A Budget you can find other Tuscan recipes: Tuscan Pork RoastRibollita and Tuscan Soup recipes. I love cooking with my Dutch Oven - it's wide, it's deep and perfect for making Tuscan Cannellini Beans, the Ribollita or even the Tuscan Soup! If you don't have one and want to get one, you can follow this link and take a look.

There you have it: Tuscan Cannellini Beans with Sausage. So easy to make, not a long cooking time and most definitely a cheap meal for your family. My cost for all ingredients was $5.44. There is enough to serve six people which comes out to:

If you have limited grocery funds I highly recommend you try this Tuscan Cannellini Beans with Sausage. Remember, it is kid-friendly too. By the way while I was eating this dish I also watched "Under The Tuscan Sun"! Buon Appetito.

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