Don’t be scared that this takes over 24 hours preparation – it’s all soaking time for the beans! It does take about an hour and a half to cook though so don’t get started too late. It is very easy despite the time it takes and is totally worth it.
Gigantes me spanaki ke loukanika sto fourno (Bean, Spinach and Sausage Casserole) – serves 4
- 300g dried butter beans
- 120ml olive oil
- 250g pork sausages, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 onion, grated
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 400g can chopped tomoatoes
Put the beans into a saucepan, cover them with cold water, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, then drain and tip into an ovenproof casserole dish.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
Meanwhile, heat half the oil in a frying pan. Add the sausage, onion, and garlic and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, until the onion has softened. Stir in the tomatoes and parsley, season and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour the mixture over the beans, stir well and bake, adding a little hot water if necessary, for about 50 minutes or until the beans are soft – check every now and then that it isn’t drying out and give it a stir.
Meanwhile, roughly chop the spinach, and cook over a low heat for a few minutes, until wilted. Drain well. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan, add the spinach and cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes.
Take the beans out of the oven and dot the top with spinach. Bake for 5 minutes more. Serve hot.
Kali orexi (bon appétit)!
(Original recipe from Vefa’s Kitchen published by Phaidon)