November 7, 2007

Clean the Fridge Cassoulet

summer cassoulet in Chianti with Kate

Following Kate’s lead on her Camp Cassoulet in Gascony, I was craving a Tuscan version.
Nothing says fall like beans and new oil, or sausage and beans.

finshed Tuscan cassoulet

But being bedridden, shopping was limited to the clean the refrigerator and pantry.

Found items:

1 bag cooked zolfini beans
1 can tomatoes
1 package Sardinian pasta Malloredus

Shopping ( sent hubby out!)
3 sausages

Rather like Iron Chef, creating something from nothing, ideas started flowing from my congested head.

  • Traditionally the Malloredus are sauced with a sausage and tomato ragu.
  • Tuscans do sausage and beans
  • Leftovers are often baked in the oven, mixed with b├ęchamel sauce and covered with Parmesan cheese to create a crust.

“Nothing says lovin’ like something from the oven…”
the cassoulet concept was baked beans with pork, duck
and other luscious rib sticking ingredients.

I made a simple tomato and sausage ragu,
adding the zolfini beans, which I ate as a meal on it’s own,
saving some ragu for the baked version.

sausage ragu with zolfini beans

The Malloredus, are a dry pasta from Sardegna,considered a gnocchi.
I boiled them, drained them and left them to cool over night.

malloredus pasta with ragu

I made a thick b├ęchamel sauce, added the pasta, and then stirred in the ragu.
In restaurants this is often served as a first course in winter and is called “strascicata.”

Placing the pasta in a baking dish with a generous grating of Parmesan cheese on top, I cooked until the cheese created a golden crust and the sauce was boiling underneath.

Tuscan "cassoulet" inspired version

Not cassoulet,
not macaroni and cheese,
but totally heartwarming on a cool fall night.

Thanks Kate for the inspiration!
( and the cassoulet pot from this summer's class in Tuscany!)


  1. Anyway, you look at it, Diva, French or Italian, these are great home cooking dishes. I love the simplicity of your shopping list. And look forward to the next time we get to cook together. Bisous, Kate

  2. I'm delighted to see that you are hungry and capable of thinking of food. That bug that got you is scary.

  3. Judy - great selections to cure what ails you! I too have been craving comfort foods lately - I haven't been ill like you but the change in the seasons makes me crave soups, stews, and casseroles.

    I hope you feel cloe to 100 % shortly!

  4. It looks like wonderful comfort food, Judy!

  5. Thanks for the well wishes

    Judith I Love YUMBRIA.. great !

  6. Wonderful dish. This would be perfect this weekend here in NY as it is getting very cold.Thanks for the inspiration :)

  7. Cool idea. Sounds and looks utterly delicious. I wish it was cold in my part of the world so I could eat this. X

  8. it looks tasty. I'm sure it is very delicious. After all it's consisted of products I love. hm a clean of the fridge rarely leads to something so good.

  9. Excellent recipe, I really love fresh food prepared and cooked in this style thank you so much

  10. Great idea, this looks yummy!