Preparation time: 30 min.
Fagioli con Cotechino, a hearty dish from the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy. Cotechino, also spelled Cotecchino, is a fresh pork sausage. It’s made from lean pork and cooked pork skins, the “cotene”, which gives it its name. It is spiced with cloves, cinnamon, and garlic. You find it also in Bollito Misto, that classic Northern Italian dish of mixed boiled meats.
If you don’t find Cotechino sausage use Pork Kielbasa, an acceptable substitute.
- 1 1/2 lb (750 g) Cotechino sausage or pork kielbasa, cut into 3/8 inches (1 cm)
- 1 lb (450 g) frozen Cannellini beans
- 1 medium-size fennel, thinly sliced
- 2 medium-size onions, thinly sliced
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp white Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- salt and pepper
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
Cook frozen Cannellini beans according to package directions – they should be done but not mushy.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan and sauté onions until they are golden and soft. Add the fennel slices and sauté them until they are soft but still with a bite. Add 1/2 teaspoon of dried Marjoram, salt, and pepper to taste. Add the sliced cotechino sausage to the onions and sauté for a further 5 minutes over medium heat.
Drain the cooked beans if necessary, but reserve the cooking liquid. Add the beans to the cotechino-onion mixture. Sprinkle olive oil and the white balsamic vinegar over the beans and fold it under – very gently. Taste for salt and pepper. In case the bean-cotechino mixture is too dry add some of the reserved cooking liquid. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese over the dish and serve with a crusty bread if you like.