Maybe “stew” isn’t the right word here. The original name, where it came from at Dine and Dish, was a “ragout,” which to me sounds like a sauce, but it’s actually a stew in France (a sauce in Italy). So maybe that is the right word. What it is, anyway, is thick and substantial, and it hasn’t got a great deal of liquid in it, but that which there is is thicker than soup level.
It is also, not to put too fine a point on it, delicious. It’s interesting, because you don’t use stock or anything like that, just the liquid that the beans are in and that the tomatoes are in, and the liquid that cooks out of the ingredients. Bear in mind that the bean liquid is often quite salty, so you probably won’t need to add salt at all.
I did halve the recipe, except for the single-can of Mayocoba beans – who’s going to use a half a can of anything? – and I also couldn’t find Mayocoba beans. I looked Mayocobas up and found they were a small, firm, yellowish bean, so I picked up the closest similar bean. Seemed to work out all right! And anytime someone says to use sweet Italian sausage, I swap in the hot kind, because why wouldn’t you?
Bean and Sausage Stew
about 1 lb kielbasa, sliced
about 1 lb hot Italian sausage, cut into chunks
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 an onion, chopped into large chunks (I happened to have the half an onion left over from the Japanese potato salad)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp – or less! – salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can Great Northern beans, not drained
1 can Mayocoba beans if you can find them, otherwise any similar bean, not drained
Preheat oven to 425.
Mix all the ingredients but the beans together in a large oven-proof pot.
Pop it in the oven for 45 min.
Take it out and stir in the beans and their liquid.
Put back into the oven for another 10 minutes.
Let stand for a few minutes before serving.
This makes great leftovers, too, and smells good when you take it in to work for lunch and makes everyone jealous. In case that was something you were interested in.