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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Garbanzo Bean and Sausage Served in the Vessel

The culinary term en casserole means 'served in the vessel used for cooking'. -- Wikipedia

Last weekend we had dinner at our friends D and M's house. They have a daughter almost the exact age as Emily and the two together are pretty darn cute. Their youngest daughter is five months younger than Thomas, which will mean nothing in six months or so. The kids always play well together, and that means the adults can enjoy wine and dinner while the kids tear up the other room. Good times.

D made us a fabulous tofu lasagne as well as a garbanzo bean and sausage casserole. It came out over dinner that the lasagne was the dish he had made to woo M. You know what I'm talking about, right? For us it was tuna seared in butter with port reduction served with rice. Mike made it for me on one of our first dates, and I knew it meant he was serious.

The company was great, the lasagne was wonderful, but it was the garbanzo bean and sausage casserole that had me whipping out pen and paper the minute we left their house. Here's my version of the recipe, which I made last night. Mike said it was pretty close to D's except I didn't add enough cheese. You are free to add more. Especially if you are making this for a potential mate.

I served this with steamed asparagus spears and spinach ravioli stuffed with ricotta cheese and pine nuts. Upon further reflection, I am thinking it would be superb with a pasta with pesto sauce and a green salad. You know, if you're aiming to impress. If not, chow down on it using a large wooden spoon while leaning over the stove. Like we do.

I expect an invite to the wedding.

Garbanzo Bean and Sausage Casserole

Olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced [Updated 11/30/06 -- Thanks, Grace!]
3 spicy turkey sausage links in casing
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup red wine
3 15-oz cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. ground thyme
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Squeeze sausage meat out of casings. Roll meat into approximately 20 meatballs.
  3. Heat olive oil (2-3 times around the pot) in large skillet -or- stove-to-oven pot such as Le Creuset.
  4. Saute meatballs over medium heat until browned -- about 5 minutes.
  5. Add chopped onion and minced garlic. Saute until onions soft, stirring often and reducing heat if necessary -- about 3 minutes.
  6. Add chicken broth, wine, garbanzo beans, bay leaf, and thyme. Stir and bring to gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer until broth is almost all evaporated -- about 4 minutes.
  7. Transfer to baking dish or leave in oven-ready pot. Add half the cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and stir. Top with remaining cheese.
  8. Bake, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes.

Makes 6 servings.

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