Greek Mr. Manetta’s Butter Beans and Sausages (Large Dry Lima Beans)
4 to 6 servings scale / convert
1 lb. fresh pork Italian garlic sausages (preferably seasoned with fennel)
2 cups finely chopped onions
3 lg. pressed cloves garlic
1 can (1) whole tomatoes, broken up
1 can (8) tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
1-1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
1-1/2 cups lg. dry lima beans
3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
In an oiled large, heavy frying pan, bake sausages in a 350 F. oven, turning once, until lightly browned, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove and cut into 2-inch diagonal slices. Add enough oil to frying pan to make 3 tablespoons. Add onions and sauté until limp. Stir in remaining ingredients except 1/4 cup of the parsley. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with remaining parsley. Makes 4 to 5 servings.
COOKED LIMAS. Put 1 ½ cups large dry lima beans, rinsed, into a large kettle. Add enough cold water to cover deeply. Heat to boiling; boil for 2 minutes; remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour. Drain, rinse, and cover with fresh salted water. Heat to boiling, then gently boil, uncovered, until beans are tender, about 45 minutes; drain.
SUGGESTED ACCOMPANIMENTS: Cooked chard dressed with oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper served at room temperature. Large bread sticks or crusty bread. Full fruity red table wine, as a hearty California Zinfandel. Chilled fresh orange segments.
Mr. Manetta explained his theory of why Greek food is so successfully seasoned. The best Greek cooks, he said, treat each major part of a dish separately, then combine it with other parts; they do not season the combined ingredients all at once.
Butter beans is the other name for lima beans. There are two common varieties of lima bean — the baby lima bean and the Fordhook — but don't confuse them as the same bean in different stages of development. The Fordhook is larger, lighter in color, and has a stronger taste than the baby lima, but it is not a grown-up baby — it is a separate variety.
In the south of the United States, Fordhook lima beans are commonly called butter beans. These larger beans are also known as butter beans in Europe, or Madagascar beans, since most lima beans sold in Europe are grown in Madagascar (or Mauritius).
They can also be called calico beans, but that may be only when they're speckled with a bit of purple.
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