Tuscan White Beans with Sausage and Sage

As hearty as chili and with flavors of old-world Italy, this classic never gets old. Prepare this easy recipe for the family ‑- the perfect dish for lunch or dinner!

Serving: 6

1 pound dried cannellini or great northern beans, washed and soaked overnight
(or cheat with 2 cans of canned beans)
2 quarts fresh water
2 medium onions, 1 cut in half and the other chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped sage
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 pound Italian sweet sausage, casings removed and crumbled
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 cup canned chopped tomatoes, drained

Drain the beans. Combine the drained beans with water in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Skim off the foam, reduce the heat to low and add the halved onion, 2 of the minced garlic cloves, half the sage and the bay leaf. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and cover. Allow to simmer for 1 1/2 hours, until the beans are very tender. Drain over a bowl and measure out 2 1/2 cups of the broth. Discard the halved onion and bay leaf.

While the beans are cooking, heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sausage. Stir until the sausage has browned lightly, about 7 to 11 minutes. Add the chopped onions, carrots, celery and parsley. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the remaining garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, the remaining sage, reserved beans and reserved broth, and continue cooking for 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning as desired with salt and pepper. Serve hot with passed grated Parmesan cheese and country bread.

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