Sometimes I get into a cooking rut because I get busy, lazy, and/or I'm tired of my seasonal dishes and waiting for the change of a season. I was loving my spring/summer dishes before, but as the months tick by and the heat and humidity persist, I get tired of them and want a change. For the last two weeks I was going through that phase and ate mostly hot dogs and frozen food. By last weekend, I felt gross and was eager to start up my cooking again and this week the weather is finally starting to cool down enough that I can get excited for fall dishes!
Anytime I see a recipe that involves sausage and beans I flag it as a possible future dish because those are usually easy and you can't go too wrong with that flavor combination. I liked that this one also had tomatoes (how much do I heart Trader Joe's canned diced tomatoes with no salt?) and the novelty of homemade bread crumbs (a first for me). And then I saw that this recipe had bacon and there was no question about it - I had to make this! I tell you, bacon searches me out! Since I had some chard leftover from my other dish this week, Orzo with Caramelized Fall Vegetables, Bacon, and Ginger, I added some in as well. I love a nice colorful dish! I went a little too long in the broiler so my bread crumbs were almost burned. I panicked but luckily they still taste amazing and I managed to not set off my smoke detectors. Ah fall, it's so good to have you back! Now just keep winter at bay for a while.
Servings: Original recipe says 6 but this is a 3-mealer for me (I basically need at least 2 normal person sized servings).
4 slices of thick cut bacon, chopped (I used Trader Joe's peppered uncured turkey bacon)
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
2 14.5-ounce cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
12 ounces sausage, cut in half lengthwise and in 1/2 inch pieces (I used Trader Joe's garlic chicken sausage)
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1-2 cups kale or chard, chopped
3-5 cups bread, cut into 1-2 inch pieces (I used about 1/3 of a Trader Joe's sourdough baguette)
Pat of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 chopped slices of bacon and cook for a few minutes until browned and slightly crisp.
- Add 1 chopped onion to the bacon and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender.
- Add 3 minced garlic cloves and 1 tbsp thyme and cook for an additional minute.
- Add 1/2 cup white wine and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add a can of diced tomatoes and cook for 2-4 minutes until sauce is thickened.
- Add 1 1/4 cup chicken broth and 2 cans of cannellini beans and bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Add 12 ounces chopped sausage to the mixture and stir everything together.
- Move skillet to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- While the skillet is in the oven, prepare breadcrumbs by either toasting them in a toaster oven or melt a pat of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat and then add 3-5 cups chopped bread. Stir the bread frequently until it browns, approximately 8-10 minutes. I used my cast iron skillet and had to lower the heat halfway through as the bread was browning too fast.
- Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup chopped parsley into the bread crumbs and season with some salt.
- Remove skillet from oven and stir in 1-2 cups of chopped kale or chard.
- Heat broiler.
- Spoon the breadcrumbs evenly on top of the skillet mixture.
- Place the skillet back in the oven and broil about 6 inches from the heat source for 1 minute. I did 2 and ended up with my breadcrumbs almost burnt (still tasted good though!).
- Remove skillet from oven and add salt and pepper to taste.