Garlic and Herb White Beans with Sausage

“You can use any mix of sausages you’d like for this recipe. I usually use a blend of Bratwurst, Kielbasa and some sort of spicy sausage. I make this so my kids will eat it, but for more of a kick you can add 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes with the carrots, celery and onion.”
– Harry H. Wetzel, IV, AVV Assistant Winemaker and Family Partner

– Serves 6 –

1 Tbsp. AVV olive oil
1 Kielbasa
2 Bratwurst
2 Andouille
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and cut crosswise
2 ribs celery, split lengthwise and sliced
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
3 sprigs thyme
1 sprig sage, leaves removed and coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. parsley, coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
¾ cup AVV Zinfandel
1 cup chicken broth
2-10 oz. cans white beans, drained and rinsed
1-10 oz. can of diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
Bread crumbs
Parmesan cheese

Method of Preparation:
Add olive oil to a large pot and heat over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the sausage and brown on all sides, then remove to a bowl. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the pan.

Add the next 8 ingredients and sauté until they begin to soften. Deglaze the pot with the red wine, scraping up browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken broth, beans, tomatoes and sausage along with any accumulated juices and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the sausage is cooked through, stirring occasionally.

Remove the sausage and let cool for 5 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, slice the sausages crosswise and add back to the pot. Allow the entire mixture to cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally and adding more chicken broth as necessary. Remove the bay leaf and any remaining stems from the thyme. Mix in bread crumbs 1 tablespoon at a time to thicken the sauce until you have reached the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in bowls garnished with some Parmesan cheese and a side of some crusty bread.