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Sausages with beans, uccelletto cooked style

(Le salsicce co' fagioli all'uccelletto)

  • 8 sausages of pork, Florentine
  • 5 or 6 garlic cloves
  • 3 or 4 clusters of fresh sage
  • ½ kg of tomato purée
  • one glass of white wine
  • 400 grams of beans (the so called cannellini) boiled quite "al dente"
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Take a fork and punch in various points the peel of the sausages, both to favour the leaving of grease and to avoid that during the cooking they would break and disperse in scrapes or shapeless pieces.
Then take a baking tin and brown over a brisky heat the sausages for 4/5 minutes, then add garlic and sage, entire the former and in cluster the latter and continue to brown turning very often. When the sausages are well browned (also garlic and sage - take care that the garlic would not brown too much), that means they will get well coloured and will stop to give out any grease, bathe with the wine, let evaporate, remove the clusters of sage (we suggest to keep the garlic, even if many people used to remove it) and add the tomato purée. Start with the boiling once again, turn and mix very well all the stuff, taste and add some salt and pepper if necessary, let it cook for 7/8 minutes then put in the tin also the beans, all well complete, without any splits or smashing, and mix them carefully with the sauce of sausages and tomato. Cook 8-10 minutes over a low heat, shaking the tin in order anything would stick, then take out from the heat and serve very hot.
This recipe represents one of the steady points of the Tuscany and Florentine cooking. Often it is prepared in a careless way even its simplicity. Normally this is due to the quality of sausages and to the boiling of beans; this boiling should be very very slow because beans do not have to break. We are used to remove the grease formed by the sausages in order to let them be accepted, especially in these days, where there is a real phobia for the grease.
Bu in this recipe we have left all the grease formed by the sausages in the tin (together with their flavours) because we do not want to compromise some features of this recipe; if we remove the grease it is not possible to recoup these characteristics.
The "cannellini" beans, boiled and then re-made, also without sausages (especially in late spring when they are new and tender) are called "all'uccelletto" (bird style) because (and this is also the opinion of P. Artusi) they are cooked with the herbs, garlic and sage, which traditionally are used to prepare the roast of "uccelletti" (small birds). We had better saying that garlic and sage were used to prepare these types of roasts, because now who can see the small birds?

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni

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