Tripolina Lunga with Smoked Turkey Sausage, Beans & Mascarpone

Let’s talk about starch, baby. Let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that beans can be. Let’s talk about starch.

Well, something like that. One of my favourite things growing up was a simple bowl of beans and wieners, and if there was heavily buttered toast on the side so much the better. Beans and wieners, back then I couldn’t think of anything more perfectly balanced. The starchy beans, sweet tomato gravy and salty diced hot dogs, man, add buttery toast and you have another level of balance with crunchy and soft. Eve had the chance back in the day to take this to Adam, she chose the apple because it was easier to carry. To this day this is still a comfort meal “go-to”, definitely up there with process cheese open-face sandwiches. I find it funny that as a comfort staple it always involves the extra work of a special trip to the corner store because we don’t keep hot dogs or white sandwich bread in our pantry. It’s good to get out, I guess. James Beard wrote that he loved beans “in all their colours, shapes, and varieties.” He loved them hot and cold, calling them an “all season food” (Beard on Food. Bean Salads for all Seasons, pg 109. James Beard). Hear hear.

All of this swirled around my head, like a forkful of wiener shovel scooping up beans, when I was trying to come up with a dinner the day before Thanksgiving. I didn’t want to make something too difficult, and comforting was without doubt forefront in my mind. I was easing my self into the next day’s meal that would take me the better part of a day to prepare. I remembered a recipe based on a Genoean pasta dish that used orecchiette and sausage. When I originally saw it I couldn't get it out of my head for well over a week. It is one of those dishes that could be recreated with any number of pastas and sausages. It sat there in the back of my head bubbling away until we were at the market on a Saturday and stopped by
El Gaucho Chorizos to pick up some apple sausage for my Thanksgiving day stuffing. When looking through the display case at all those sausages I spotted the smoked turkey sausage and thought about how well that smoky flavour would mix with the starchiness of the beans. Instead of orecchiette we went with a classy ruffled-shaped fettuccine called tripolina lunga. I knew the combination would make a meal that would be both beautiful and delicious and would take me back to that time when beans and wieners were all you needed to decompress. Guess what? I was right. Hope you like it. Serve it forth with crusty garlic bread.


½ lb Tripolina Lunga
½ lb smoked turkey sausage, casing removed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 (19oz) can navy beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano leaves (save some tiny leaves to sprinkle over he finished dish)
½ c mascarpone cheese
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. Boil a large pot of salted water. Add the tripolina lunga and cook according to the directions (between 6-8 min). Drain the pasta but reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

2. In a large skillet warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the smoked sausage and diced onions. As the sausage browns break it into smaller pieces. Once the sausage is golden brown and the onions are translucent add the beans and oregano and cook for 2 more minutes.

3. Add the cup of reserved cooking liquid and scrape up the delicious brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the mascarpone cheese and stir until it dissolves into a light sauce. Season with salt & pepper. Toss in the hot tripolina lunga. Stir until coated and serve.


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Emma said...

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