Sausage and bean stew

Giorgio Locatelli's gutsy Mediterranean stew is packed with plump Italian sausages, creamy borlotti beans, tomatoes and plenty of garlic More comfort food recipes
By Giorgio Locatelli
Sausage and bean stew
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 1.5 hours 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus overnight soaking
  • Effort: medium



  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 10-12 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 small bunch sage
  • 1 stick celery
  • 125 g dried borlotti beans, soaked overnight
  • 5 clove garlic, 2 left whole, 3 finely chopped
  • 450 g Italian sausages
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 ml white wine
  • 200 g tin canned chopped tomatoes


1. Make a bouquet garni with the rosemary, one of the bay leaves and half the sage - wrap them round the celery stalk and tie with string.

2. Drain the beans and put in a saucepan with the two whole garlic cloves and the bouquet garni. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to a brisk simmer and cook for another 30-45 minutes until the beans are 'al dente'. Remove from the heat and leave in the pan.

3. Cut the central stalks from the remaining bay leaves. Take a sausage and wrap it around a bay leaf, securing it with a wooden cocktail stick. Repeat this with the rest of the sausages, leaving a couple of leaves aside to add separately to the pan.

4. Pierce the sausage skins to allow the fat to be released into the pan.

5. Heat the olive oil in a large high-sided frying panover medium heat. Add the sausages and gently fry, turning them frequently so that they brown evenly and cook all the way through.

6. Remove the sausages from the pan. Set aside and keep warm.

7. Chop the remaining sage. Add this and the chopped garlic to the pan in which you fried the sausages.

8. Raise the heat and add the white wine. Cook briefly, stirring, to allow the alcohol to evaporate.

9. Put the sausages back in the pan, along with the tomato and the reserved bay leaves.

10. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid. Add them to the pan with enough liquid to moisten. Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes.

11. Season with salt and pepper before serving.

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