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Cannellini Mediterranee

Cannellini Mediterranee
Kevin Weeks for NPR /

This dish was inspired by cassoulet, but it lacks the complex flavors of the traditional dish. It also lacks the complex preparation. However, it's absolutely delicious and, because I used canned instead of dried beans, it's relatively quick to make.

Makes 6 servings

1/2 pound fresh Italian sausage, or any fresh link sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 19-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 smoked turkey leg, skin removed and diced (available at most supermarket meat sections)

3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 sprigs fresh sage

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 sprig fresh rosemary

2 bay leaves

Healthy pinch of red pepper flakes

1 to 2 cups chicken broth

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Brown the Italian sausage in olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).

Add all remaining ingredients to the pot along with just enough chicken broth to bring the liquid level with the other ingredients.

Cover the pot and place it in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the cover and continue cooking for another hour until a few beans begin to split and release some starch into the broth for thickening.

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