What's the best recipe for getting back on your feet when you're not feeling well? A hearty bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup typically does it for most. Or maybe a huge dish of your favorite comfort food. For Food Network star Rachael Ray, there's one specific recipe she turns to, whether she's down and out with a cold, or she's just looking for a cozy, one-pot dish: sausage and beans with greens.
Ray is all about making simple and quick meals, and this hardy dinner is definitely one that she relies on more often than not: "When I'm sick, John makes this for me," she explained alongside the recipe, published at her official website. "When we have company over. When it's Sunday football. We make versions of this all year long."
This delicious and versatile meal can be adjusted to fit just about palate and situation. It's a one-skillet wonder that combines ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen, including Italian sausage, onion, garlic, and dark greens. If you're looking for a new comfort meal that you can put together when you're feeling under the weather or a bit lazy, here's how to prepare Ray's delicious, quick, and hearty go-to meal.
How to Make Rachael Ray's Sausage and Beans with Greens
Ray's tried-and-true sick day meal starts with taking a nonstick skillet of your choice and by gathering sweet Italian sausage links. You'll need to prick each sausage with a fork a few times, then place them with the piercings down in the skillet.
"Pierced side down is important, so that those juices come out and into the water as it evaporates" explains Ray in a clip of her preparing the recipe. "When the water evaporates, the natural juices from the sausage itself will brown and crisp the casings."
Next, it's time to get cooking. Add 1/8 inch of water and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and simmer. Once the sausage casings are browned, remove your sausages to add to a platter and cover them with foil. You'll be adding them back to the pan later.
Once you've finished browning your sausages, add the rest of your extra virgin olive oil to the pain over high heat. Add your fennel and onion, then season to taste with salt and pepper. You'll want to let your onion and fennel cook for 4 to 5 minutes before adding garlic. Continue to stir for an additional minute.
After you've softened everything, Ray directs you to wilt in dark greens (kale, escarole, etc.) in a "few piles at a time" to make sure you don't overwhelm your dish or find your greens overflowing from the pan. Reduce heat to low. This is where the nutmeg in the recipe comes in, which can add an unexpected dimension of flavor.
"Whenever I use dark greens or ricotta, cream, or milk, I always add nutmeg," Ray says.
Add the beans to your skillet, and then start adding the sausages you cooked earlier to the pan. Take your lemon and squeeze a bit on top. That's it for your sausage and greens, but you've still got the bread to deal with.
Take a cut clove of garlic and and scrape it along your charred bread (which Ray's husband handles in her video).
"The toasted edges of bread capture the flavor of the garlic as it shreds into the bread," Ray explains.
Drizzle with olive oil, season with flaky sea salt, and then line your skillet with your garlic bread. That way, it'll soak up the flavors of all the sausage and greens in your pan. After you've done that, you're finished! You can serve this tasty dish or dig in yourself the next time you want a simple meal that'll make you feel like a million bucks.
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