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Franks and Beans with a Tuscan Twist

Serves 4 servings

Originally aired

INGREDIENTS
  • 8 fresh chicken sausages, available at your meat counter (get a Mediterranean flavor, such as pepper and onion or sun-dried tomato and basil)
  • 1/2 cup EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 anchovies
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed from stem and chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 6 plum tomatoes, quartered and seeded
  • 1 pint (about 10 to 15) bocconcini in water (mini fresh mozzarella balls), drained
  • 10 to 15 leaves basil (a small handful), roughly torn
  • 1/2 small loaf bread, torn into large pieces
  • 1 small jar giardiniera
PREPARATION

Place the sausages in a large skillet and add 1 inch of water. Prick sausages a few times with a fork and add 1 tablespoon EVOO to the skillet, 1 turn of the pan. Bring the water to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Allow the liquid to cook away, about 10-12 minutes, and brown and crisp the skin. Once the sausages are brown on all sides, reserve them on a plate and keep warm until ready to serve.

While the sausages are cooking, preheat a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Add the garlic, anchovies and rosemary to the pan. Cook until the garlic is golden brown and anchovies have melted, 2-3 minutes. Add the white 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 Kalamata olives, red wine vinegar, remaining EVOO and freshly ground black pepper. Pulse to combine.

In a large mixing bowl, add tomatoes, bocconcini, 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 with two sausages. Serve the tomato and bocconcini salad and a jar of drained gardiniera alongside.

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