3/4 cup dry red beans
12 ripe plum tomatoes; -=or=- can whole peeled t
1/2 lb rigatoni =or=- other tubular pasta
2 large swiss chard leaves (red or green)
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 italian-style sausages each cut in; 2-or-3 pieces
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves; -=or=- dried oregano leav
1/2 teaspoon salt; or as desired
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
PLACE BEANS IN A POT with enough water to barely cover, cover the pot and cook over low heat until beans are barely soft, about 2 hours. Add water to keep the beans just covered as necessary. When beans are done, remove from heat, drain and set aside. Meanwhile, cut the stems out of fresh tomatoes and plunge them into boiling water for barely 1 minute, or until skins crack. Remove from water, peel the tomatoes, cut them in half crosswise and squeeze out the seeds. If using canned whole tomatoes, cut them in half and squeeze out seeds. Cut each tomato half in quarters and set aside. Cook pasta until barely soft according to the manufacturer's directions. Drain and mix with the beans. Lay the chard leaves on a work surface and cut out the center stem. Roughly chop the leaves and thinly slice the stems. Set aside.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F. Combine oil and sausages in a Dutch oven, place over medium heat and cook 3 minutes. Pour off the fat, add the garlic and cook, stirring, another minute. Add the tomatoes, beans and pasta, wine, oregano, chard stems, salt and pepper. Cover and place in the oven for 20 minutes. When it's time to get dinner on the table, add chopped chard to the casserole. If the casserole appears dry, add up to 1 cup water. Replace in the oven for 5 minutes. Serve piping hot from the oven and offer grated cheese.
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