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Recipe for sausages baked with herby garlic infused beans, bacon and tomato

Baked sausages and beans

Baked sausages and beans

There are two words that sent Danny into a fluster. “Bake” and “penne”. There is just one phrase that makes him visibly pale and narrow his dark Irish eyes.

“Pasta bake”. The reverberations that take place when I dare to mouthe these two innocent words deserve their own paragraph.

I watch with envy as families in the TV commercials tuck happily into pasta bakes. I love simple, sling in the oven and repair to a comfy chair sort of recipes. Between you and me I’m planning a baked risotto for next week but I wouldn’t dream of calling it a ‘bake’.

This recipe is one of the easiest and tastiest in my repertoire. Like the dreaded pasta bake, all the ingredients are tossed into the dish, placed in the oven and then I have 45 minutes to kick up my heels and get on with something much more indulgent.

A good client of mine introduced me to the basis of this dish – a super recipe! But I reckon that this one is better.

Of course I’ve played with the original recipe as it’s the only bake that D knowingly allows to pass his lips. He loves it and chortles every time that it’s served. And these chirrups continue until every plate and the enamel dish is scraped clean.

Recently I discovered that if you just drain the beans, rather than rinse them, and add two or three tinned tomatoes (without juice) the result is an exquisite, thickish, tasty sauce that cuts through the flouriness of the beans. So I’ve ditched my old fresh tomato twist as it has to be tinned toms every time.

Apart from the sausages this is a store cupboard recipe. We buy good sausages when they are on offer and freeze them in small packs so that we can make this recipe when we both need a bit of foodie comfort.

Frozen sausages can be unfrozen in a washing up bowl of cold water very quickly. Anchor them with a heavy weight and you can be cooking them in a couple of hours.

I’ve also started using cannellini beans – they don’t have the fuller flavour of the flageolets but their innocence begs for a little invention and this is where you can play with appetising additions. I love lots of crushed garlic, a sprinkle of home dried herbs and a good dash of chilli sherry. This combination gives the bean base a subtle vroom. What do you think? Have you got any delicious herbs/spices combinations for beans?

Baked sausages and herby garlic infused beans – for 2 greedy people in need of comfort food

4-6 good sausages (depending how hungry they are)
1 400g tin of cannellini beans
2 or 3 tinned whole plum tomatoes. Squeezed gently so as not to ad too much tomato juice. The rest of the tin can be tossed into soup or frozen to add to a casserole.
4 slices of streaky bacon
1 very chunky garlic clove – squished and chopped fine (or one tsp of garlic granules)
Half a tsp of dried thyme or savory
A good dash of chilli sherry – very easy to make see here. If you haven’t yet made this essential ingredient, a quarter tsp of chilli powder would do in an emergency

Drain the cannellini beans (do not rinse) and arrange them in the base of an oven proof dish. We use one of these
Add the tomatoes
Add the herbs, garlic and chilli sherry and stir well
Place the sausages on top of the bean mixture and arrange the streaky bacon over the exposed beans
Baked the dish at 200c or 190 fan for 25 minutes then turn over the sausages and bake for a further 20 minutes.

Serve on warm plates and prepare to be totally satisfied with this simple comfort food. Great in the wintery weather that we’re expecting next week but also good on a chilly night in the summer too.

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  1. janerowena

    It sounds like a far simpler cassoulet. I make something very similar, but with a variety of beans and a few lentils and even a tin of baked beans if I have to stretch it, with lots of garlic and red wine.

  2. Sylvie (A Pot of Tea)

    Hmmm, that ;looks so good and homely.

  3. This sounds like a really great recipe. I shall definitely try this one tomorrow night. I suppose you could use butter beans instead of cannellini? Like Danny, my husband will not entertain any kind of baked pasta dish and like you I crave them!

  4. Sounds like an easy mid week dish, we always have sausages in the freezer! Printed you recipe and will try it out. Thanks 🙂

  5. veronica

    That sounds so easy and comforting! Tinned beans (not the Heinz sort) are always a good store cupboard standby.

  6. You made me smile about Danny and his aversion to bakes!
    I love sausages (ususally cook them in cider in the winter) but this really is an easy peasy recipe.Haven’t got any chilli sherry (YET!) so will try this week with some emergency chilli powder.

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