Healthy Recipe, Cassoulet

The French dish known as cassoulet is traditionally made by simmering white beans, sausage, goose, and other fatty meats for hours on end. This greatly simplified rendition relying mostly of pantry staples ably captures the spirit of the classic in a fraction of the time and could even quality as “healthy” — with lean chicken sausage standing in for all the protein. Served with crusty bread and a simple salad, it makes a worthy company dish as well as a comforting, low hassle any day of the week. Serves 4. — Susan Puckett Ingredients1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (plus a little more, if needed)
1 (12-ounce) package cooked Italian chicken sausage links
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 large garlic cloves, minced (or more if you love garlic)
3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 bay leaf
½ cup dry white wine
1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup thinly sliced basil or chopped parsley leaves (plus more for garnish)
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
2 (15-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
Crusty bread and grated Parmesan cheese (options) for serving Directions 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. In a large, ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the sausage links and cook, turning with tongs, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
3. Add the onion to the hot skillet , adding a little more oil if necessary, and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, thyme, and bay leaf and cook another minute.
4. Add the wine and stir continuously as it simmers, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan as you stir, until the liquid has almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes.
5. Add the tomatoes, broth, basil or parsley, ½ teaspoon of salt, and a few grindings of pepper; taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Simmer until the sauce has reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Stir in the beans, then nestle the sausages in the bean and sauce mixture.
6. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes to meld and concentrate the flavors.
7. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with more herbs, and serve with bread and grated Parmesan on the side. — Susan Puckett is an Atlanta-based food writer and cookbook author.

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