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I don’t know beans

I don’t know beans. I like beans, and I like to cook, but outside of adding canned red kidney beans to make chile, I’ve never really tried to cook with them. However, there is a bag of dry navy beans in the pantry and last night in a fit of madness, I added put about 3 cups of them in a pot of water and left them to soak overnight.

I wasn’t really sure what to do with them until I saw that Tuffy P had bought some nice looking sausages. When I saw them in the fridge, I remembered seeing a video on the YouTubes about making sausage and bean stew. Aha, it’s a thing. I can do that. Now, I might have gone back and looked it up so I could learn how to do it properly before sallying forth into the land of bean stew, but what fun is that? This can’t be rocket surgery.

I started by browning some sausage along with onion, garlic, red pepper and celery. I added some dried herbs and some chile flakes, but I didn’t add salt because I vaguely remember somebody telling me once (or maybe it was that same video?) that you shouldn’t salt beans until they are halfway cooked. Is that true?

While that was happening, I dug around in the pantry and came up with a can of diced tomatoes (it says on the can Italian Flavoured, whatever that means).

I added the tomatoes, drained the beans and tossed them in as well.

I let it cook for maybe 3/4 hour then added some salt and some fresh ground pepper, then remembered I had some napa (Chinese cabbage) in the fridge. I bet that would be perfect in this concoction. I chopped some up and tossed it in the pot and let the who business cook until the beans were tender.

I finished it off with some parmigiano cheese. Very delicious. I think it’s pretty flexible as well. I’m sure I could have used a different combination of veggies or a different kind of beans or some chicken thighs instead of sausage or different herbs or whatever. I bet it would be really good if you start off with some chopped up bacon (but then, almost anything would, right?).

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