When I lived in Seville, Spain, my parents would often take me to their favorite tapas bar, where I developed a love for this simple dish. It's easy-to-make white beans with grilled or sauteed pork sausage. If you can track down some Catalan-style pork sausages, it will be very authentic. Otherwise, just use whatever pork sausage you prefer.
1/4 lb. dried white beans such as Great Northern or Cannellini
1 carrot, peeled and cut into large pieces
1 medium onion, peeled
1 bay leaf
2-3 fresh sage leaves
5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
4-6 mild pork sausages (1 per serving)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 Tbs. minced flat-leaf parsley
Soak the beans overnight in a large bowl or pot, covered with cold water.
The next day, drain and rinse the beans under cold water.
Place the rinsed beans into a medium-size stockpot along with the carrot, 2 Tbs. olive oil, onion, bay leaf and sage leaves.
Bring the beans to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and gently cook the beans for an hour. You might need to occasionally skim some foam from the surface of the liquid. Toward the end of the cooking time, add salt to taste. (Adding salt prematurely will toughen the beans.)
When the beans are cooked -- softened but still slightly al dente -- discard the carrot, onion, bay leaf and sage leaves. Gently scoop the beans out, using a slotted spoon, and set aside.
Heat 2 Tbs. olive oil in a large saute pan or skillet (preferably nonstick). Add the sausages to the pan and saute over medium heat until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. (You could also cook the sausages outdoors on a grill.) Set the sausages aside.
In the same skillet you cooked the sausages in, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and briefly saute the garlic until it's light golden (don't burn it).
Add the beans to the pan with the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes to warm through. Taste the beans and add additional salt to taste, if needed.
Spoon the beans into a serving dish and top with the cooked sausages. Sprinkle with the minced parsley to garnish.
This dish is excellent with an inexpensive Spanish Garnacha to sip alongside
Photos by Ted Scheffler