Dinner for Two: Italian 'Cassoulet' with Sausage and Beans

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[Photograph: Kerry Saretsky]

My favorite food in the world is cassoulet. It's rustic, filling, hearty, and so, so good. But it doesn't only have to be French. While the traditional version takes about a million minutes and a few different kinds of confit to make, this Mulberry Street-inspired version only takes one pot and 15 minutes, and is a kind of fresh riff on the Italian favorite sausage and broccoli rabe.

Start with some really, really good pork sausage flavored with garlic and herbs. Sweet Italian sausage works perfectly. Nestle it into a pot with canned cannellini beans, whole cloves of garlic, fresh rosemary, broccolini, and olive oil. Add just a bit of broth or water or wine, bring it to the boil, and then nestle the whole thing under the broiler. The sausages with blister and crack, the beans will toast, the garlic will go all soft and sweet, and the broccolini with become tender-crisp.

You have your meat, starch, and veg all in one place, and the perfect rustic, romantic meal to throw on top of a red and white checked table cloth decorated with scattered melting candles stuck in wine bottles. Unfortunately, I can't help with the accordion player, but otherwise, you've pretty much set the scene.

About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way.

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