Kale, Beans and Sausage

Kale, Beans and Sausage

2 T. olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

3 cloves garlic

1 bunch of lacinato kale chopped (I used approximately six cups, but you don't have to be exact)

1/2 pound Italian sausage

1 cup dry fagioli del purgatorio beans (or another small, white bean, but you'll probably have to soak them ahead of time, unlike the fagioli del purgatorio beans)

2 cups water

1 parmesan cheese rind

herbs of your choosing - I used fresh parsley, thyme and oregano

salt, pepper to taste

hot red pepper flakes 

roasted red pepper or bits of chopped tomato (optional)

Remove the casings from the sausage and place in a saucepan, covered with water. Simmer for about 15 minutes, then remove the sausage and slice, but retain the water for later use. In another pan, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until softened. Add the kale to the pot and the water leftover from cooking the sausage. Let the kale cook down for about five minutes (with the lid on), then add the beans, the sausage, the water and the parmesan rind to the pot. Don't add the salt yet, or the beans will toughen, but DO add the pepper, the herbs and the red pepper flakes. I sometimes add a small amount of chopped tomato and/or roasted red peppers. Let everything simmer with the lid on for about one hour, or until the beans are tender. Keep checking and add more water if necessary. When everything is cooked, add the salt. If it's not "soupy" enough to your liking, add more water. 

It's great served with grilled bread that's been rubbed with raw garlic and olive oil.