can you say cassoulet?

I cooked...and I'm here to share the recipe.  Hooray.  I am itching to get back to sharing recipes with you all.  Maybe when Tucker starts going to bed earlier I'll have a better chance of blogging in the evenings...and reading a book, and doing my Bible study, and pilates, and well, probably I should just rest.

I have been working my way through Bread and Wine, a book that it seems most everyone else read about 6 or so months ago.  I'm usually late to the party and this time proved no different.  This book is right up my alley- talking all about making meals, feeding people, opening your home, and enjoying one another.  One of the things I've loved about having a home now is being able to feel like we can have people over.  I love setting the table, putting out flowers, thinking through what wine glasses we'll use, and picking out table linens.  It's totally my thing.

In her book, Shauna shares lots of approachable recipes that she uses often.  When she mentioned that this meal freezes well I added it to my list of things I needed to double up and make, freezing what we wouldn't eat.

And so, last week I made this and it was a hit.  It's one of those meals that doesn't quite photograph well seeing as the ingredients are all pretty much white, but the flavors were all there and two pans are sitting in our freezer waiting to be consumed another day when life is busy and dinner needs to come from the freezer.  Freezer meals are my new way of life and I think will be for some time to come- if I can double a recipe and freeze some, I most definitely will!

Back to the Cassoulet.  As are most of her recipes you can most definitely change things up a bit here- use all hot sausage- throw in cherry tomatoes, or probably even take out the sausage all together and have a hearty vegetarian side.  I added some parmesan to the bread crumb topping and used mild and hot sausage though next time I'd probably chose all hot since it's really not all too spicy after all.

Recipe adapted from Bread and Wine

Ingredients You'll Need:
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 lb turkey italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 parsnips, diced
  • 1 small container cherry tomatoes 
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1.  In a dutch oven heat the oil then brown the sausage.  You can remove the fat although my sausage was pretty lean so I didn't worry about that.  Next add in the broth, vegetables, beans, thyme, salt, pepper, and one third of the garlic and bring to a boil. 

2.  Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 1 hour.  Heat the oven to 400 and pour the cassoulet into a dish.  I used a 8x8 but doubled this recipe and had about 2 more 8x8 portions to freeze.  In a bowl combine the bread crumbs and melted butter with parmesan and sprinkle over top.  Bake for about 10-15 minutes until the crust is golden.

If you're making ahead and freezing this freeze without the bread crumb topping.  When it's time to bake it uncover and sprinkle with topping.  Bake unthawed for 45 minutes to an hour at 400 degrees.

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