Grown Up "Franks and Beans"

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 55 min
  • Active: 55 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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3 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound spicy Italian sausage (about 5 links)

8 ounces bacon, sliced into 1/3-inch pieces 

2 cloves garlic, minced 

1 medium onion, small diced 

2 cups grape tomatoes, halved 

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika 


1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth 

Two 15.5-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 

4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped 

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped 

1 cup ditalini pasta or elbow macaroni 


  1. Heat a 10-inch straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and continue to heat. Pierce each sausage link twice with the tip of a pairing knife. Add the sausages to the hot pan and brown evenly on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the sausages to a plate to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, slice each link on the bias into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium. To the hot skillet, add the bacon. Cook until it is brown and crisp. Add the garlic and onions and cook, stirring regularly, until the onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to blister and break down, about 10 minutes. Add the paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, drained beans, thyme and rosemary and allow the mixture to return to a simmer. Nestle the sausages back in and add any juice that may have collected on the plate. Allow the mixture to cook until the sausages are cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a pot of rapidly boiling salted water, cook the pasta for 8 minutes. Drain and immediately pour the cooked pasta into the bean mixture to finish cooking, about another 3 minutes.