Corona Beans with Sausage

corona beans and sausage

Are you familiar with Corona beans? They’re a large white bean way bigger than cannellini, an old fashioned heirloom bean from Europe, Italy has a fondness for them. They’re big to begin with in the dry state but when you cook them they become huge, the picture doesn’t really show how big they get but I measured them to be about an inch and a quarter in their cooked state.

They have a nice creamy texture similar to a potato.

slow cooked corona beans

I picked up a bag at the Rancho Gordo store in the Ferry building in San Francisco last week on our vacation, it can be difficult to find Corona beans in the stores most of the time but online you should have no problem.

You will find many producers of these beans but Rancho Gordo is one of my favorites, In fact I love all their beans, and I’m not getting paid to say that!

I decided to go out and buy a new crock pot since I never used mine and gave it away to my daughter, I wanted to slow cook my Corona’s after I saw my friend Cathy make a pot of Greek Gigante beans, which is also a large white bean. She tossed all the ingredients into the crock pot including the dry beans, not pre-soaked, but dry.

I have to say I wouldn’t recommend tossing in dry Corona’s they took forever to cook and to reach that creamy point, it was close to twelve hours, so next time I would definitely pre- soak them overnight to get them started and reduce the simmering time, like I said these beans are huge and they’re not exactly the same type as the Gigante beans that Cathy used, so my recipe instructions will be slightly different than hers.

corona beans and sausage

This is my Italian version of pork and beans! Beans flavored with parmesan, garlic, onions, bacon, thyme, tomatoes and red pepper flakes then after they’re cooked, topped with a ring of the best Italian sausage you can buy, which will be pan seared and placed on top for serving. This is comfort food, stick to your ribs food, a welcome to fall!

corona beans and sausagecorona beans and sausage

You have to be patient, this isn’t a quick meal, you can make the beans the day before if you want either in the slow cooker or simmering on top of the stove, I guarantee your house will smell amazing and it’s definitely worth the wait!

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Corona Beans with Tomatoes, Bacon and Sausage
Giant delicious white beans called Corona. Slow simmered until nice and creamy, comfort food all the way!
  • 8 oz. dried Corona beans that have been soaked in water overnight for at least 8 hours, then drained
  • 3 oz. bacon, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes or squished whole tomatoes
  • 1 or 2 parmesan rinds
  • a small handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • a big pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. cooked, pan seared Italian sausage to serve on top of beans when finished cooking
  1. Place every single ingredient into a heavy pot or crock pot, simmer low and slow for hours, soaking the beans overnight will shorten the time. The true test for doneness is to taste at least 5 beans because beans all cook at different times.
  2. They should not be hard or have a crunch to the bite but rather they should taste creamy and soft like a potato.
  3. They could take anywhere between 3 - 6 or more hours depending on how high your flame is or how fast your crock pot takes.
  4. Keep tasting for salt, and remember they blow up, and the liquid will absorb them.
  5. Remember they should reach the creamy point!
  6. Serve them in pan with curved sides topped with the pre-cooked sausage ring.




Lasagnetti with Crumbled Sausage, Asparagus and Zucchini Coins

lasagnetti pasta

I always gravitate towards the unique non traditional pasta shapes, when I see a shelf full of them I always have to grab a bag or two. My pantry is stocked with different shapes just waiting to be cooked up, so every now and then I will showcase one here on my blog.

Like these cute little lasagnetti which I recently found, they look like mini one inch square lasagne sheets. As far as what kind of sauce to serve with it, my first idea was to toss them into marinara and then dot the whole thing with fresh ricotta and a little romano, but I wanted something different this time and since fresh asparagus has been popping up all over in my area I used that as my inspiration to make this dish.

The combination of roasted zucchini coins, asparagus, medium spicy Italian sausage and sauteed grape tomatoes turned out to be the perfect flavor combination to grace my lasagnetti. Of course, any sturdy pasta shape would do, but if you’re interested my fellow Chicagoans, I got this pasta at Caputo’s.

If you’re looking for something a little different for your next dinner party I would suggest this dish, not only does it taste great it looks really nice spread out on a platter!

It’s fun to get out of your comfort zone every now and then!

Lasagnetti with Crumbled Sausage, Asparagus and Zucchini Coins
  • 3 small yellow squash cut in ¼ inch slice
  • 3 small zucchini cut in ¼ inch slice
  • 1 lb. fresh asparagus cut diagonally
  • 12 or more grape tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 large shallot finely chopped
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed
  • ½ cup each of white wine, chicken broth and pasta water
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. of cooked lasagnetti or any sturdy pasta, reserve ½ cup pasta water
  • 1 cup of ricotta
  • fresh basil and grated romano for garnish
  1. Roast zucchini coins and asparagus on a baking sheet drizzled in olive oil at 425 until golden brown.
  2. Saute the tomatoes in olive oil in a small skillet.
  3. Brown sausage in a skillet with the chopped shallot and garlic cloves, my sausage is very lean so I add a little olive oil when browning. When sausage is cooked through add in the wine, broth, ¼ cup olive oil and pasta water, this will be the base for your sauce.
  4. Toss everything into a large bowl coating the cooked pasta with the sauce, tossing with grated cheese, fresh snipped basil and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Place on a platter and dot with fresh ricotta and a drizzle more of olive oil if needed.