This is a dish I made up last night and it was just wonderful! Easy to put-together, a one-disher (well, except for the rice), warm and filling...and cheap.
1 lb bag of dried black-eyed peas (or 4 cans of cooked, but dried are easy and cheap)
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, sliced
butter or oil to cook the onions and celery (about 1 - 2 Tablespoons)
1 lb or so of italian sausage (I get "sweet" italian turkey sausage)
1 can of tomato paste
salt, pepper, cayenne to taste
4 cups of cooked rice
Soak the dried peas overnight in 7-8 cups of water in a seperate bowl.
In a large stock pot or dutch oven, melt your butter/warm your oil and saute the onions for a minute. Salt the onions to "sweat" them out a bit and then toss in the celery. Cook it all until just soft. Pour in your beans and the soaking water in to the pot.
Bring the pot to a gentle boil. Add the tomato paste, stirring well to make a nice sauce. Throw in your sausage and cook everything for 20 minutes or 30 minutes. You can put the sausage in whole or cut it up. If you you cut it up first, you should throw it in towards the end so it doesn't overcook.
Season to taste and reduce heat to a very, very gentle simmer to keep it warm with the flavors meld a bit more. If cooking in a dutch oven, put the pot in a warmed oven rather than keeping it on the stove top if you wish. I warmed my oven to 250 and then turned it off when I put the dutch oven in.
Serve it over warm rice and you are set to go! This will serve a crowd or a family of 5 for dinner and lunch the next day...and then some. Since this is a new dish to me (and I made it up), if you have any suggestions please leave me a comment.
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