Pork and white beans are classic partners in Tuscany. This is a recipe from the great Boston Chef Barbara Lynch. Ever since this appeared in the March 2001 issue of Food and Wine it has been a staple in the Quinlan household. It’s a great pairing for Chianti, trust me, I’ve probably eaten this dish 200 times, Chianti is the right move!
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup dry red wine
One 28-ounce can peeled Italian tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped, liquid reserved
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound rigatoni
One 19-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped basil, plus leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute. Add the onion and sausage; break the meat up with a wooden spoon and cook until it just loses its pink color, about 7 minutes. Add the wine and cook over high heat until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, their liquid and the red pepper and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the rigatoni until al dente. Drain well, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
Add the rigatoni to the sauce and gently stir in the beans, 1/2 cup of Parmesan, the chopped basil and the butter. Cook, stirring gently, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add some of the reserved pasta cooking water if the pasta looks dry. Transfer to warmed bowls, garnish with basil leaves and serve. Pass additional Parmesan at the table.
Pair this dish with Canonica a Cerreto Chianti Classico Riserva 2015
This stunning Chianti from a small Tuscan estate near Siena is a great addition to Table & Vine’s Chianti lineup. Dark and brooding Chianti, this is greater than spaghetti and meatball Chianti. Complex with great fruit and a firm finish, drink now through 2026.
“93 points. A muscular red, featuring plum, black cherry, tar and iron aromas and flavors, framed by spicy oak. Ripe and lively, yet solidly built, with the core of fruit persisting on the long finish. Shows fine balance.” Wine Spectator