A few pantry staples combine to create a quick, rustic, one-pan dinner
Tribune Content Agency|
Nov 12, 2020 at 10:28 AM
It’s hard to imagine a more comforting supper than a dish of soft, brothy beans, hearty kale and punchy sausage. And that comfort level only increases when you have to clean just one pot afterward.
The trouble with greens such as kale is that you need a vessel with a large capacity so they’ll fit inside that vessel when raw. A Dutch oven is the best choice here. To ensure the kale emerges super flavorful, we sear the sausages in the pot first and then remove them and cook pungent onion and garlic in the savory fat left behind. After these steps we’re left with delicious brown bits, aka fond, to scrape up into the cooking liquid and infuse the greens with meaty flavor.
About that cooking liquid: It’s not just broth. Instead, we bolster chicken broth with canned tomatoes and their juice for flavor and pureed beans for a silky texture. We pile the kale into the pot, cover it, and simmer it for 15 minutes to cook down and mingle with the powerful flavors inside.
Remember those sausages? It’s time for them to go back into the pot along with the rest of the beans to cook through and soak up maximum savory flavor. Another 10 minutes and dinner is ready for the table.
All that’s left to do is put out some crusty bread to mop up all those delicious juices and open a bottle of wine.
2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add sausages and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate.
3. Add onion to the fat left in pot and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in kale, salt, pureed bean-tomato mixture and remaining tomatoes, scraping up any browned bits. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the kale is wilted and tender, about 15 minutes.
4. Stir in the remaining beans, then nestle the sausages into the pot along with any accumulated juices. Cover and simmer until the sausages register 160 F and the sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with crusty bread.
(For 25 years, confident cooks in the know have relied on America’s Test Kitchen for rigorously tested recipes developed by professional test cooks and vetted by 60,000 at-home recipe testers. See more online at www.americastestkitchen.com/TCA.)
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