One Italian sausage provides seasoning and a bit of meat for two meals.  The starting point gives enough for two servings.  When I’m using the Italian sausage for two separate meals like this, I usually buy sweet instead of hot, since I can readily add the heat I’d like with crushed red pepper flakes at the time I’m preparing the meal.

  • 1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 sweet Italian sausage, meat removed from the casing and crumbled
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked, drained white beans (cannellini or great northern) or 15-ounce can rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoon water

In a 12 inch skillet with a tight-fitting cover, add the olive oil; when the skillet is heated add the sliced onion, and cook until it is beginning to brown. Add the sausage and brown.  Add minced garlic and cook about 2 minutes.  Add the rinsed beans, and cook covered about 5 minutes.

Remove half the bean/onion/sausage mixture to be used for a second meal.  Cool and refrigerate.

Meal 1:

  • Half the bean/onion/sausage mixture
  • about 15 grape/cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup antipasto salad mix (pitted olives, peppers, carrots) from the salad bar, chopped finely.
  • several sprinkles of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 teaspoons chopped fresh sweet marjoram or Turkish/Greek oregano, or 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs.
  • a single-serving size handful of haricots verts
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste (the antipasto salad is salty so taste before you add additional salt.

Add the herbs, the chopped antipasto salad, crushed red pepper flakes and mix well.  Over medium low heat, add the tomatoes, lay the haricots verts on top of the cannellini beans, add the water, cover tightly and continue to cook until  the haricots verts are tender.  Serve with shavings of Pecorino Romano over the canellinni beans, and the haricots verts on the side, drizzled with a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil.

Meal 2:

  • the reserved cannellini bean/onion/sausage mixture
  • about 15 grape/cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 generous handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste

Place the cannellini bean/onion/sausage in sauté pan, add the water, halved tomatoes, and cover.  Heat gently for about 5 minutes (until starts to steam).  Add the spinach, cover, and allow spinach to wilt.  Toss to combine with the bean mixture.

I had this with some steam-sautéed carrots as an additional vegetable.  Add a glass of good friendly red wine and its a very satisfying meal that’s easy and economical.

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