Pork and Beans Pasta

A nice, hearty weeknight meal, via Bon Appetit. The recipe as written in Bon Appetit is loose, so I just went with it…

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  • olive oil
  • 2 sweet Italian sausages
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 8 ounces of pasta– any short, chunky shape
  • 1 14oz can cannellini beans
  • 1/2 cup pureed tomatoes
  • Parmesan
  1. Slice open the sweet Italian sausages, and remove the meat from the casings. Pour a smidge of olive oil into a Dutch oven, added the sausage meat, and sautée it over medium heat till it is all crispy and caramel-y brown.
  2. Remove the meat, add a glug of olive oil and 5 smashed garlic cloves. Cook them till they started to turn golden. At some point, add a splash of water to deglaze the browned crispy bits on the bottom of the pan and scrape them up with a wooden spoon.
  3. Turn off the heat, put on the top and let the garlic mellow.
  4. Meanwhile, in a pot of well-salted boiling water, add about 8 ounces of pasta. The original recipe went with mezzi rigatoni for a shape that would catch the beans and sausage in every bite. [Lots of short, chunky shapes will work; you just don’t want a long pasta like spaghetti or linguine.]
  5. As the pasta is cooking, drain and rinse the cannelini beans, getting rid of as much of that viscousy, Ghostbusters-like liquid they come packed in. Add them to the garlic pot, turn the heat back to medium, and gave them a good stir.
  6. After a minute or so, once the beans are heated through, pour in about, oh I don’t know, a half cup or so of pureed tomatoes. Just enough to turn the sauce a nice pink. You don’t want tomato sauce; you want something more akin to penne alla vodka in its pinkish-orange creaminess.
  7. Add back in the sautéed sausage.
  8. Just as the pasta is nearing al dente, scoop a small coffee mug of pasta water and pour it into the beans/tomato/sausage mixture, stir it together and bring it to a simmer. [I did about 1/4-1/2 cup.]
  9. At this point, add the al dente pasta straight to the pot, and toss, toss, and toss till it is well incorporated and wonderfully creamy. Turned off the heat, and then to make it even more wonderfully creamy, stir in a couple handfuls of finely ground Parmigiano Reggiano.
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