Last week’s blog post was about pantry staples. This week’s post is somewhat related – cleaning out the pantry!
I have an entire shelf in my pantry devoted to dry pastas, dry rice, and dry beans. The pastas in particular stack up quickly: for whatever reason, I rarely use a full package/box of pasta, so I wrap up the remainder and stow it away (pasta lasts for-ev-er.) Last week, I also happened to have on hand a bag of dry Great Northern beans, probably leftover from some soup-making adventure in 2010 (but again, dry beans last for-ev-er.) I was craving some sort of rich, hearty bean soup and with two main ingredients already ready to go, the recipe below was an easy choice.
I’ll be the first to admit, I dislike working with dry beans. Some cooks swear by dry beans, but I think its a pain to clean them and soak them for hours. So, while I did use dry beans in this recipe (and you can too, if you’re cleaning out your pantry,) I wrote the recipe with canned beans as the original Allrecipes recipe states.
The original recipe also calls for fresh spinach, but this was an easy swap decision for me: kale is a much more robust green leafy vegetable that can hold up to a hot, simmering soup without wilting.
Sausage and White Bean Ragout – adapted from Sausage and Bean Ragout on Allrecipes.com
2 lb hot italian sausage (casings removed if using links)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3.5 C low sodium chicken broth
2 C chopped kale leaves (or just chop up the whole bundle, it will be about right)
28 oz italian-seasoned diced tomatoes, not drained
2 cans great northern white beans, drained
1 to 1.5 C uncooked small dry pasta (ditalini, elbow, penne, rigatoni)
1 TBS dry basil leaves, salt + pepper to taste
Brown italian sausage in the largest pot that you have. Add onion and cook until translucent (drizzle in some olive oil if pan is too dry.) Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.
Add broth, dried basil, tomatoes and beans. Heat to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add kale and pasta. Bring back to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until pasta is done. Add salt and pepper to taste.