Fusilli with White Beans, Sausage and Herbs


7 cups water
2 cups dried Great Northern beans
1 tsp dried rubbed sage
1 fresh sprig of rosemary (or 1 t. dried)
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 bunch Swiss Chard, stemmed and coarsely chopped
8 oz fusilli pasta
1 lb sweet Italian sausage links, cut into 1½” pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ cups tomato- basil pasta sauce (from a jar is fine)
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbs olive oil

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until beans are tender, stirring occasionally (about 2 hours). Drain beans, reserving cooking liquid.

2. In a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, add chard and cook until wilted (about 30 seconds). Remove chard with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. Add pasta to the boiling water and cook until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse under cold water.

3. Cook sausages in large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, turning occasionally (about 6 min.). Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add chard; sauté 30 seconds. Add beans and sauce and bring to a simmer. Add pasta, cheese and oil; toss.

4. If the sauce seems too thick, thin with reserved bean cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Servings: 6

Cooking Tips
*To save time on cooking day, the beans may be prepared 1 day ahead. Refrigerate beans and liquid separately.

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