Saturday, 11 August 2007

Sausage and Beans

Today I decided to make my husband's favourite supper dish: borlotti con salsicia, or sausage and beans. This is no hardship as it's also one of mine. As much as I like fine dining I also like good hearty food and this dish certainly is that.I started by going down to the Orto to pick the beans which as you can imagine are plentiful here in Italy in August. They then have to be shelled and cooked. Don't ask me how many per person as it depends on your appetite. What I tend to do is pile them on a plate. If they look about right I go with that.

Put the beans in a pan or pressure cooker if you want to be quicker with a stick of celery, a fresh tomato, an onion, halved,and a carrot.Do not put in any salt at this point as it will toughen the skins. Cook until starting to go soft. In the pressure cooker this tends to be about 5 minutes but be careful. I am not too sure how long they take in a pan as I never cook them that way. It also depends on the age of he bean. Fresh from the garden they will probably cook quicker than if they have been hanging about in a supermarket stall.Try tham after about 30 mins.
Cook until almost but ot quite soft.

Now cut the sausage into rounds. I used salamini sausages as they are my favourites. If you use lugnaega sausage cut into 6cm lengths ie. about half a sausage.Fry the sausages until nice and golden brown, deglase the pan wit5h some white wine and add some stock cube. I like the Knorr, gusto classico but use your favourite.

If you would prefer you can cook the lot in a pressure cooker. Just start by frying the onions and then add the sliced sausage and when they are brown add the wine. Add the other ingredients and enough water to cover and cook on high for about 5 mins. easy but not quite as refined as cooking separately.

Another thought! Cut down the cooking by using a can of beans. You cook the sausages as outlined above but only add the beans when the sausages are throughly cooked. Not as good as fresh beans but if you are in a hurry it will do. This is a modern day Nonna giving you instructions after all.

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