Today's recipe is from a book that I recently read and loved: "Bread & Wine" by Shauna Niequist. In fact, I told one of my friends that this book was the type that I envisioned myself writing some day but she did it so well, that I'm off the hook and I don't need to write it.
I've made a few recipes from that book with good results and this one did not disappoint. It's originally from Real Simple and it takes a little while to cook but there's not too much hands on time. With the cold California winter weather we've been having, this dish was perfect. For those of you who are gf, Shauna says that she makes this with gf breadcrumbs for her family.
Real Simple's Winter Cassoulet
1 T olive oil
1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed (I used a chicken sausage)
1.5 cups chicken broth
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 carrots, diced
3 parsnips, diced
8 oz diced tomatoes (I used canned)
2 15oz cans of cannelini beans (or great Northern), drained and rinsed
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
2 T unsalted butter, melted
In an oven proof dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat on the stovetop. Cook the sausage until well browned, breaking it up with a spoon. If there'a a lot of oil in the Dutch oven, drain it at this point before the next step. Add the chicken broth, vegetables, beans, salt, pepper, and garlic and mix well, scraping up any brown bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally about 1 hour (until the sauce has thickened and the vegetables are tender).
Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, parsley, and butter. Sprinkle evenly over the cassoulet and place in the oven. Bake uncovered until the crust is golden brown (about 10-15 minutes).
I haven't tried it yet, but the recipe says you can make it ahead and freeze it with out the breadcrumb topping. Then, when you want to bake it, sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture on top and bake, unthawed, for 45 mins - 1 hour at 400 degrees.