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So apparently we’re in for 6 more weeks of winter… I’ll believe that when I see it because so far we haven’t even had much of a winter! But my body knows what time of the year it is, and I therefore must cook accordingly. It’s time for soups and casseroles and comforting foods.

This dish is a quicker version of a French cassoulet, which is a slow-cooked stew or casserole with beans and meat. I don’t believe I’ve ever had a real cassoulet, but it’s okay because this dish can fill that void! All the flavors meld wonderfully, and the breadcrumbs add a nice crunch along with an extra garlic kick. Sausage and beans pair perfectly! I have Julia Child’s cookbook with a real cassoulet recipe in it, so maybe I’ll make it one day, but in the meantime I’ll stick with this tasty twist on sausage and beans! Cassoulet-Style Sausage and Beans
Yield: 4 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
4 garlicky pork sausages
5 cloves garlic, minced, divided
¾ cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped parsley, divided
1 teaspoon dried thyme, divided
2 slices of thick-cut bacon, diced
½ onion, diced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
⅓ cup dry white wine
⅔ cup chicken broth
2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat until shimmering; add the sausages. After about 5 minutes, add the bacon to the sausages and sauté until bacon is golden brown and sausages are thoroughly browned on both sides. Remove sausages from the pan; set aside.

Meanwhile, make the breadcrumb mixture. In a small bowl, combine Panko, 1 minced clove of garlic, 1 tablespoon parsley, and ½ teaspoon thyme; season with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoons olive oil, stirring to evenly coat the breadcrumbs; set aside.

Lower the heat to medium-low and add the onion; season with salt and pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until onions start to turn translucent. Add the garlic and sauté another 2 minutes then add the tomatoes. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook until the liquid has evaportated and the tomatoes are just beginning to catch on the pan. Add the wine and cook until the liquid has evaporated again. Add the chicken broth, beans, 1 tablespoon parsley, and ½ teaspoon thyme. Cook for 1 minute, until the broth is bubbling.  Transfer the bean mixture to a wide, shallow baking dish and arrange the sausages on top. Top with the breadcrumb mixture and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the sides of the pan are bubbling and the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Serve hot with a green salad.

Source: Adapted from French Revolution, as seen on Lilacs in May