Italian Sausage and Bean Pasta


This dish has officially taken over as our favourite pasta dish.  I actually don’t know how I’ve only just discovered this combination of ingredients!  As the children are growing, portions are getting bigger, so the rich tomato sauce I’ve been doing for years is no longer substantial enough. This sausage and bean sauce does the trick as it is heavier and packs more of a protein punch than the simple neapolitan version.  For a meat-free option, simply substitute the sausage with an extra can of beans.

This is What You Need:

2 tbsps olive or rapeseed oil
2 tsps dried Italian herbs
1 large red onions, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic
500g Italian sausage, chopped
2 x 400g tinned tomatoes OR 1 tin of tomatoes and 100ml fresh cream
1 heaped tbsp sundried tomato paste
1 cup of red wine (preferably full-bodied)
400g can cannellini beans

fresh basil leaves (optional)
parmesan cheese
400g fusilli or pasta of your choice


This is What You Do:

Saute the onions, crushed garlic and herbs in a medium to large heavy-bottomed pan for 5 minutes.  Slice the sausages as thin as you can without them breaking up.

Get the water on for the pasta and cook as normal..

Add the sausage and cook on a moderate heat til brown which should take about six minutes.

Pour in the wine, lower the heat and cook til the liquid has reduced slightly and the consistency has thickened.

Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and fresh cream if using (the cream version is pictured in this recipe), give it all a good stir and cover.  Simmer for 20 minutes. 

Drain the pasta (always keep some of the liquid, return the pasta to the pan and stir in some olive oil which, along with the reserved water, keep it from sticking).

Remove the lid and cook a further while if you think the sauce is too thin.

Dish up the pasta, add the sauce, sprinkle on my mate parmigiano and perhaps some fresh basil AND…