- Drain the beans, rinse well and place in a Dutch oven or large pot.
- Add 7 cups water, 5 of the sage leaves, the tomato halves and bring
- to a boil uncovered over med-high heat. Reduce heat to a gentle
- simmer and cook uncovered until the beans are tender 1 1/2-2 hours,
- be sure to test for doneness. Drain and reserve the beans, discard
- the sage and tomato halves.
- In a large sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, 5
- remaining sage leaves, onions, carrots, celery, red pepper flakes
- and sauté for 8-10 minutes until the ingredients are soft and
- translucent. Stir in the cooked beans and crushed tomatoes. Add the
- salt, pepper and the chicken stock. Stir together and simmer gently,
- when all ingredients are combined and warmed, stir in the mascarpone
- cheese until melted and evenly folded into the tomato and bean
- mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover saucepan to keep warm
- and turn off heat until ready to serve.
- Cook the sausage by braising or grilling. Once the sausages are
- cooked, transfer them to a cutting board and cut into halves or
- thirds. Transfer the warm beans to individual bowls and arrange
- sausage pieces on top. Garnish with a sprig of fresh sage. Yield:
- Serves 8-10.
To Serve 4-5, prepare the same recipe with 1 package of Johnsonville Italian sausage.
Mascarpone cheese is a mild flavored, creamy Italian cheese that can be found in the specialty cheese section of most grocery stores.