Catalan Chickpeas with Sausage
When You Are: A Compendium of Comforting One Dish
Serves 4 to 6
pound dried chick peas, soaked in 2 quarts water for
6 hours or overnight and drained
1 bay leaf
1/4 to 1/2 pound fresh mild Italian sausage, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons diced cured ham, such as prosciutto
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 pound fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped,
or 1 (14-ounce) can, lightly drained 1/2 teaspoon
Freshly ground pepper
Combine the chickpeas with enough water to cover by
2 inches in a large soup pot or Dutch, add the bay
leaf, and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and skim
off any foam. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add 2 teaspoons
salt, or to taste, and simmer for another hour, until
tender. Drain over a bowl and retain 2 cups of the
cooking liquid. Set aside.
preparation: You can cook the beans up to 3 days before
doing the next step. Keep in the refrigerator.
the beans are cooking, heat a large, heavy casserole
over medium heat and add the sausage. Cook, stirring,
until the sausage has browned lightly and rendered
its fat. Remove from the heat, remove the sausage
from the pan and pour off all but about 1 tablespoon
of the fat. Add the olive oil to the pan, heat for
a moment, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until
it begins to soften, and add the garlic, sausage,
ham, and green pepper. Cook, stirring often, until
the onion and green pepper are tender, 5 to 10 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, thyme, pepper, and salt to taste,
cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring
often, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly.
Add the chickpeas and the 2 cups of their liquid that
you set aside. Bring back to a simmer, stir together,
turn the heat to very low, cover and cook gently for
30 minutes to 1 hour, until the beans are very tender
and the broth fantastically fragrant. Taste, adjust
seasonings, and serve.
preparation: You can make this right through to the
end a couple of days before you wish to serve it.
Time will only improve it.
time / Leftovers
dish will keep for about four days in the refrigerator.
With pasta, this becomes a scrumptious Pasta e Fagiole.
It's also great with couscous.
(Updated: 10/21/08 SN)