Franks and Beans with a Tuscan Twist
- 8 fresh chicken sausages, available at the meat counter at the grocery store (get a Mediterranean flavor, such as pepper and onion or sundried tomato and basil)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2-3 anchovies
- 1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed from stem and chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cans cannellini beans (15 ounces each), drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 6 plum tomatoes, quartered and seeded
- 1 pint bocconcini (mini fresh mozzarellla balls) in water (about 10-15), drained
- 10-15 leaves basil (a small handful), roughly torn
- 1/2 small loaf of bread, torn into large pieces
- 1 small jar giardiniera
- Place the sausages in a large skillet and add 1 inch of water. Prick the sausages a few times with a fork and add 1 tablespoon of EVOO to the skillet, one turn of the pan. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the liquid to cook away, about 10-12 minutes, and brown and crisp the skins of the sausages. Once the sausages are brown on all sides, reserve them on a plate and keep them warm until they ready to serve.
- While the sausages are cooking, pre-heat a medium size skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of EVOO, two turns of the pan.
- Add the garlic, anchovies and rosemary to the pan. Cook until the garlic is golden brown and the anchovies have melted, 2-3 minutes. Add the cannellini beans to the skillet and heat through, about 2-3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and keep warm until ready to serve.
- In a food processor, add the kalamata olives, red wine vinegar, remaining EVOO and freshly ground black pepper. Pulse to combine into an olive dressing. Ask a grown-up helper (GH) for help using the food processor, if you need it.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the tomatoes, bocconcini and the olive dressing and toss to combine. Stuff the torn pieces of bread into the salad to soak up the juices. Garnish the salad with the torn basil.
- Divide the bean mixture among four plates and top each plate with two sausages. Serve the tomato and bocconcini salad and a jar of drained gardiniera alongside.