Fagioli, Cicoria e Salsicce (Medley of Beans, Dandelion Greens, and Sausages)
San Pietro, New York, NY
Though simple, this dish is very satisfying, particularly on a chilly night in fall or winter. It is a classic dish of Campania, where farmers have enjoyed it for centuries.
- 3 bunches dandelion greens (1 1/2 pounds),
- washed and drained thoroughly
- 4 to 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 5 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
- 1 14-ounce can cannellini beans, washed and drained thoroughly
- 1 pound fresh pork sausage, skin removed, crumbled
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Pinch crushed red pepper (optional)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the dandelion greens and boil for 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly and roughly chop. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the garlic and chopped dandelion greens and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the beans and cook for another 5 minutes.
In a separate pan set over medium heat, slowly sauté the crumbled fresh pork sausage in an additional tablespoon or so of olive oil. Cook for 10 minutes, until all of the pink color disappears and most of the fat has rendered. Using a slotted spoon, lift the sausage out of the fat and add to the dandelion greens. Mix thoroughly and cook for an additional 5 minutes. If the ingredients get too dry, add a little chicken broth or water to keep them moist. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add the crushed red pepper, if desired.