Veggies and salads are lovely and refreshing, but a hot meal is one of the most satisfying things known to humankind. This has been scientifically proven. Well, maybe not. But it should be, dammit. The recipe I’m about to present is satisfying on at least two levels. First, of course, it’s absolutely delicious: A mix of warm Italian flavors and rich, filling vegetables. And, of course, sausage. Anything with sausage qualifies as comfort food, right?
A word about sausage: You probably know it as that tasty, but much-too-greasy, food to have with breakfast. Or possibly that horrible, rubbery stuff they put on cheap pizza. Fortunately, not all sausage is created equal, and how you cook it makes a difference in how nutritious (and how tasty) it is.
Sausage can be made from different meats, and seasoned with different spices. Pork sausage is high in nutrients, but also high in fat. Turkey sausage is low-fat and delicious, but tastes better with seasoning or in a flavorful dish. Gluten-free sausage is often lower in fat, but still has the rich flavor we love so much.
Make sure you cook your sausage thoroughly. Make sure it’s browned on the outside and well-done on the inside. If there is any excess grease, drain it off, using paper towel if necessary. This is very important! Too much grease will cause the ragout to taste like nothing but grease, overwhelming the hearty flavors of the beans and asparagus.
So go ahead and enjoy this dish — it tastes like comfort food, but your body will recognize the benefits of protein and vegetables and thank you for it!
This recipe isn’t vegetarian or vegan, but if you replace the sausage with a meatless substitute, it becomes a vegan recipe.
Sausage and White Bean Ragout
Credit: Company’s Coming: The Rookie Cook
1 red onion, diced
3-4 large sausages (I recommend spicy Italian, but choose what you like best)
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Italian spice mix
1 can white kidney beans, drained
1 small bundle of asparagus, tough ends removed, chopped into 1-inch pieces
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Slice the casings off of the sausages and discard them.
Crumble the sausage meat, place it in a lightly oiled skillet and fry it on medium-high heat until it is cooked through and begins to brown. Drain any excess grease from the pan.
Add the diced red onion and sauté on medium heat until the onions are cooked and the sausage is browned.
In a separate bowl, add the diced tomatoes, the balsamic vinegar and the Italian spices. Mix well.
Add the tomato mix to the sausages and onions. Cook on medium heat until it boils and begins to thicken.
Add the kidney beans, chopped asparagus and chopped parsley. Cover and cook on low heat for 10 minutes or until asparagus is tender. Serve hot and enjoy!