White Beans and Sausage
White Beans and Sausage

White cannellini beans with Italian sausage in a plum and tomato sauce.

Who says you need spaghetti for spaghetti sauce?

You can either cook the beans from scratch on the stovetop (we use a Tuscan approach from Saveur Magazine), cook them in a pressure cooker, or use canned beans.

By the way, you know how they always say to “rinse and drain” the beans when using canned beans? That’s just because after sitting on the shelf for a while the cans can sometimes take on a metallic taste from the can.

But if your can of beans was purchased fresh, this may not be the case, and the bean steeping water can pack a lot of flavor. So, taste! If the bean water tastes good, use it. If not, don’t.

White beans and sausage

preparation time
5 minutes

cooking time
20 minutes

Soak and cook beans from scratch
6 hours

total time
6 hrs 25 mins

up to 8 servings


Ingredients for the dry bean method:

  • 1 lb dried cannellini beans

  • 2 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil

  • 4 to 5 sage leaves

  • 2 cloves garliccrushed

  • 3 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 4 black peppercorns

Ingredients for the canned beans method:

  • 4 (15-ounce) cans Cannellini beans

  • 5 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage

  • 4 cloves garlicpeeled and crushed

  • 3 to 4 plum tomatoeschopped

  • 1 prize red pepper flakes

  • 1 Cup tomato puree

  • Salt (Above 2 teaspoon) and fresh ground black pepper


Prepare dry beans using:

  1. Rinse and soak beans:

    Rinse the dried beans under cold running water and remove any rocks you can find. Place the beans in a large saucepan and cover at least an inch with cold water. Soak for at least 4 hours. (To make a quick soak, you can pour boiling water over the beans and cover a few inches and soak for just an hour instead of four.)

  2. Cooked beans with aromatics:

    Drain beans. Put the beans back in the pot and add 3 liters of water to the pot. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the sage leaves, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 3 teaspoons kosher salt, and the peppercorns. Cover, bring to a simmer over medium heat and let the beans simmer for an hour. Reduce the heat so the beans are barely simmering. Cook for an additional 1-2 hours or until the beans are just tender. Note that the fresher the beans the shorter the cooking time, the older the beans the longer the cooking time. Remove from heat and let cool in cooking liquid. Set aside 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, drain the rest from the beans.

Preparing canned beans using:

Taste the liquid in the bean cans. If it tastes good (and it should), drain the beans, reserving 1/2 cup of the bean liquid. If the liquid doesn’t taste good (which can happen if the can has been sitting around too long), discard the liquid and use 1/2 cup water instead of the bean liquid in the next step.

Prepare beans and sausage:

  1. cook sausage:

    Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the sausages from their casings (if the sausage came in casings) and cook them in the pan until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes.

  2. Add the reserved bean cooking liquid (or can), 4 Tbsp olive oil, garlic, chopped tomatoes, and red pepper flakes:

    Stir occasionally until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add the reserved beans and tomato puree:

    Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for a few more minutes, stirring gently, until the sausage is cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Be careful not to break the beans.

nutritional information (per serving)
220 calories
4g Fat
34g carbohydrates
13g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!