Tuscan Cannellini and Sausage Soup

This was my first time using dried cannellini beans.  I often by the canned and I am sure they would have worked for this recipe as well, but I was anxious to use the dried beans to create a wonderful soup and thought I would give them a try.

Tuscan Cannellini and Sausage Soup

  • 8 o.z. dried cannellini beans
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 quart water
  • fresh ground black pepper

Prepping the beans in the first step.  Rinse beans and place in sauce pot with onion, water, and a few dashes of black pepper.  Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and cover; allow to rest for about 2 hours.  I then drained the beans and placed in the refrigerator for the next day; simply drain the beans and proceed if you prefer.

  • 3 cups water / stock ~ I used about 2 cups of ham stock I had frozen and filled out with an additional water; chicken stock would work too

Add beans to water / stock and cook for 1 – 1 1/2 hours until tender.

  • 8 o.z. ground italian sausage
  • 1 can petite diced tomato
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/4 tsp marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

Cook italian sausage and add to beans;  add tomatoes, spinach and seasonings.  Bring to simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or longer if desired.

As I mentioned at the beginning I am sure canned beans would be delicious too.  If you opt for canned beans reduce the amount of stock used by about 1/2, cook the sausage, and add the remaining ingredients. Simmering together to combine flavors.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Stuffed Roast Pork Loin

I posted the teaser to this delight a couple of days ago.  Here’s the break down of how Charles made it.  The most difficult and time-consuming part of making a stuffed pork loin is cutting the meat to unroll.  I’ve seen several techniques but unrolling is my favorite.  Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect.  It isn’t going to show once you are done and if you end up with it too thick in places you could always pound it out to a more even thickness.  If you get it too thin just overlap again or make extra rolls when you wrap it back up.  The important part is to try not to cut all the way through as you go; just make your initial cut and keep rolling the remainder of the roast away from you as you continue.  About a half-inch thick is a nice size.   You will definitely want a good sharp long knife for this.

Stuffed Pork Loin

  • 3 – 4 pound pork loin roast
  • 4 cloves garlic ~ minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 o.z. fresh spinach
  • 4 o.z. goat cheese
  • 5 pieces of uncooked bacon

Begin by cutting roast to unroll.  Season one side of roast with garlic, salt and pepper.  We did this the day before and allowed to rest overnight in refrigerator ~ this allowed the garlic flavor to penetrate throughout the roast.

The next day top with goat cheese and spinach.

Roll up and place on rack in roasting pan

Lay bacon across top of roast tucking ends under roast to secure.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 1 3/4 hours.  Check temperature (160 degrees is recommended temp for pork).  Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before carving.

As far as filling go with your favorite flavors.  We used goat cheese and spinach this time.  Mozzarella and parmesan are other great cheese choices.  sun-dried tomatoes make a nice addition.  If you prefer something on the sweeter side use an apple pie type filling.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly