Wednesday Dinner: Sausage with White Beans

Some time ago I moderated a panel discussion on social media and food. During the discussion, someone asked about measuring our reach and the panelists all talked about how they looked at their stats and analytics but didn’t obsess over them. I took a somewhat contrary position on the matter, saying that I always looked at my visits because that’s how we know if we are doing a good job. I think I passed it off as a “We’re all just looking to be loved” comment with a laugh, but at the end of the day it is absolutely true.

About two years ago, I published what would become my most visited post ever. I had traffic from every corner of the Syracuse area and then some. It was totally organic; me making a list that turned into a conversation on Facebook and the comments section. Apparently, it made its way around the Syracuse sub-Reddit, a few different food chat groups, and it caught the eye of some restaurant owners whom I’ve become well acquainted with since. It was the type of post that brought thousands of readers per day. Of course, I didn’t have advertising back then.

Anyhow, I write all of this because a friend on Facebook told me that he really enjoyed my writing style. And, what was my response? “Thanks. Judging by my stats, you are one of few.”


Wow. I’m a fking jerk. Person 1 pays Person 2 a compliment and I whine about a lack of readership. In the meantime, this person has a deeply introspective blog that bridges the canal of literary non-fiction. He deserves to be read and does not shill his own work in the way I do. He too writes for the love. Apparently, I write in order to feel loved.

That has nothing to do with sausage and white beans, an otherwise easy-to-make midweek dinner that went together in about 30 minutes, from mise to table. All weeknight dinners should be that easy.


WHAT WORKED: There may not be a more straightforward cooking website on the web than Budget Bytes. Well thought out recipes that are easy to make, financially conscious and really tasty.

WHAT DIDN’T: Like a dope, I forgot to buy bread on the way home from work. (If you’re keeping score, I’m a jerk and a dope. Please feel free to add other descriptive adjectives in the comments.)

EASE OF PREPARATION: Easy. I think The Kid could make this.

BEST FOR: A quick weeknight dinner or for when you feel like red sauce but not pasta.

SERVE WITH: The aforementioned bread.


Sausage with White Beans
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 oz. link Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled and chopped
  • 26 to 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • handful of basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-15 oz. cans of Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 to 6 oz. spinach (I used fresh, but frozen is also an option)
  • kosher salt

Swirl the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large saute pan and cook over high heat until it shimmers. Lower the heat to medium-high and add the sausage. Cook about 5 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Transfer to a cutting board and slice into rounds. Set aside.

Add the onions to the put and cook until just soft. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring often with a wooden spoon to prevent browning. Make sure to use your spoon to scrape up any browned on bits.

Pour in the tomatoes, then add the herbs, about 15 turns of a pepper grinder, the drained beans, and sausage. Stir together. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust flavors with salt.

Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Serve hot with grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

Adapted from (Budget Bytes|

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