Monday, September 24, 2012

Sausage and Bean Casserole

9-12 slices white sandwich bread
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 packages (1 pound each) smoked Polish sausage, halved lengthwise, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large onions, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cans (14.5 ounces each) Great Northern or cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
  1. In a food processor, pulse bread until large crumbs form (you should have about 6 cups.  The bread I used yielded 6 cups per 9 slices.  Original recipe called for 12 slices to get 6 cups.); season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a 6-quart heavy-bottom saucepan, cook sausage, onions, and garlic, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and sausage is starting to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Add tomato paste, broth, wine, thyme, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; add beans. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened but still soupy, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in 2 cups of the breadcrumbs. Divide sausage mixture between two 3-quart shallow baking dishes or eight 10-ounce ramekins. (I put into 8x8 disposable aluminum pans.  Each batch yielded 2 1/2 pans.)  Cool.  Then cover with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil.  Put remaining breadcrumbs in zip loc bags.  Put bread crumb bags on top of covered 8x8 pan and put both parts in a gallon sized zip loc.  Label and freeze.
  5. To bake:  Thaw completely.  Remove foil and plastic wrap.  Put breadcrumbs on top of casserole.  Bake at 375 degrees until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.
Adapted from Martha Stewart

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