How to turn leftover cooked sausage into a one-pot wonder – recipe

<span>Tom Hunt’s butter beans with sausage and broccoli: a pulse-based take on a classic Italian pasta dish.</span><span>Photograph: Tom Hunt/The Guardian</span>
Tom Hunt’s butter beans with sausage and broccoli: a pulse-based take on a classic Italian pasta dish.Photograph: Tom Hunt/The Guardian

Just one cooked sausage, left over from a barbecue, or indeed any meal, is enough to make this simple one-pot wonder inspired by the Italian classic orecchiette con salsiccia e cime di rapa. In the original, raw sausage is skinned, broken into pieces and fried with cime di rapa (turnip tops), then tossed with cooked orecchiette. Being a bean fiend, however, I’ve come up with an even speedier version using creamy butter beans instead of pasta. Turnips are mostly grown for their flavoursome green tops in Italy, rather than their crisp roots as in northern Europe, so if you’re lucky enough to find a bunch of cime di rapa or some turnips with their tops, use those here; otherwise, just about any combination of leafy green and/or brassica will do.

Butter beans with sausage and broccoli

Replacing the pasta with creamy beans makes this even easier and quicker to make than the original, not least because it’s all done in only the one pan. I did a quick search online to see if anyone had had a similar idea before, and it turns out that my friends at Bold Beans had already pipped me to the post once again.

Serves 2

400g cime di rapa (turnip tops), or a combination of purple sprouting broccoli or Tenderstem broccoli and some leafy greens (eg, kale, chard, spinach)
1 cooked sausage
1 tbsp pork fat or olive oil
700g jar butter beans
¼ lemon
Chilli flakes
, to taste (optional)
Grated cheese (pecorino, parmesan, cheddar), to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil, to serve (optional)

Trim and prepare the turnip tops (or purple sprouting or Tenderstem broccoli and leafy greens) by stripping off the leaves and finely slicing any tough stalks. Crumble the sausage into pieces. Put a tablespoon of pork fat or olive oil in a frying pan on a medium-high heat, saute the sausage, stirring, for a minute, then stir in the butter beans with their liquid. Add the greens, the lemon zest and juice, and an optional pinch of chilli flakes, to taste. Cover the pan, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low and simmer slowly for 10 minutes, until the greens are very soft – stir occasionally, and add water, if need be, to stop the beans catching. Season to taste and serve topped with grated cheese of your choice (pecorino, parmesan or mature cheddar, say) and an optional drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

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