Black Bean Soup with Hot Italian Sausage and Spinach Print Email

1 TBS olive oil
3/4 pound hot Italian sausage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
one 540ml can tomatoes with juice, chopped coarse
1.5 cups chicken stock
1 can (398ml) black beans, drained and rinsed
2 TBS sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped and drained
1 TBS chopped fresh oregano
1 TBS chopped fresh thyme
1 bunch spinach, chopped coarse
Salt & Pepper

In a large heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat. Add sausages and sauté for 5 minutes or until cooked. Remove sausages and set aside.

In same saucepan, add onion and garlic. Sauté 3 minutes or until tender.

Stir in tomatoes, stock, beans, sun-dried tomatoes, oregano, thyme, and sausages; bring to a boil.

Add spinach and cook for about 1 minute or until wilted.

Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Parmesan Sesame Twists

Adapted from Appetizers (the Best of Fine Cooking)
2/3 cup Parmesan, finely grated
1/4 cup sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves, crumbled
Kosher salt
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten with a few drops water and a pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 425°F. In a small bowl, mix Parmesan, sesame seeds, cayenne, chili powder, thyme, and 1/2 tsp of salt.

On a lightly floured surface, roll one of the pastry sheets into a 10? by 14? rectangle. Brush evenly with the egg wash and cut in half lengthwise to make two 5? by 14? inch strips.

Sprinkle half of the cheese filling over one strip and lay the second strip on top, egg wash side down. Press the strips together with the rolling pin to fuse the two sheets together.

Cut the strip crosswise into 28 strips that are about 1/2 inch wide.

Lift a strip, twist it three times, and lay it on an ungreased baking sheet, pressing each end to keep them from unwinding during the baking process. Repeat with the second pastry sheet and the remaining filling.

Bake the twists until they’re puffed, light brown, and dry looking throughout, about 12 to 14 minutes.

Let the twists cool on a rack and serve as soon as they’re cool enough. -

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