My favorite food in the world is cassoulet. It’s rustic, filling, hearty, and so, so good. But it doesn’t only have to be French. While the traditional version takes a million minutes and a few different kinds of confit to make, this Mulberry Street version only takes one pot and fifteen minutes, and is a kind of fresh riff on the Italian favorite sausage and broccoli rabe.
Start with some really, really good pork sausage flavored with garlic and herbs. Sweet Italian sausage works perfectly. Nestle it into a pot with canned cannellini beans, whole cloves of garlic, fresh rosemary, broccolini, and olive oil. Add just a little bit of broth or water or wine, bring it to the boil, and then nestle the whole thing under the broiler. The sausages with blister and crack, the beans will toast, the garlic will go all soft and sweet, and the broccolini with become tender-crisp. You have your meat, starch, and veg all in one place, and the perfect rustic, romantic meal to throw on top of a red and white checked table cloth decorated with scattered melting candles stuck in wine bottles. Unfortunately, I can’t help with the accordion player, but otherwise, you’ve pretty much set the scene! The perfect downtown dinner for two.
From my weekly column Dinner for Two on Serious Eats. Check it out every Friday!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- About 1 pound of sweet pork sausage links
- 1 bunch broccolini, stems chopped into small circles, florets left whole
- 1 head of garlic, cloves separated and left in their wrappers
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 14-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup of water, vegetable stock, chicken stock, or white wine
- Pinch of chili flakes (optional)
- Sea salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
Arrange the oven rack in the center position. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a high-sided sautépan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over high heat. Add the sausages, and just brown lightly on the bottom. Take the pan off the heat, and add the broccolini, garlic, and rosemary, and toss to coat in the oil. Add the beans, and whatever liquid you choose, and season the whole mix with chili flakes, if using, and salt and pepper. Nestle everything down into the liquid, and make sure the sausages are poking out on top. The liquid will only come about halfway up the side of sausages. Drizzle the top of the pot with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Put the pot back on the heat, covered, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat all the way down, and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Then, remove the lid, and place the whole pot in the oven for 15 minutes. You may want to turn on the broiler at the end for another 2 minutes to make sure the sausage is super crispy.print this recipe