1 ½pound dried red beans (preferably New Orleans Camelia brand)
1pound Andouille sausage, sliced 1/2-inch thick (smoked sausage can also be used)
4tablespoons olive oil
6garlic cloves, minced
2medium onions, finely diced
1large rib celery, finely diced
1medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 ½teaspoons black pepper
⅛teaspoon cayenne pepper
2teaspoons dried basil
¾teaspoon rubbed sage
1cup chopped fresh parsley
1bunch fresh green onions, chopped
Cooked white long-grain rice, for serving
In a large bowl, cover beans in water and soak for at least 4 hours or overnight. (Water should cover beans by at least an inch.)
In a large, heavy pot, brown sausage in 1 tablespoon of oil until slightly crisp. Add remaining oil, then the garlic and onions. Sauté over medium heat until onions become transparent and limp. Add celery and bell pepper and sauté for 5 minutes.
Pour soaked beans and water into the pot and bring to a simmer. Add black pepper, cayenne, salt and all herbs except parsley.
Cook until beans are softened, about 11/2 to 2 hours. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Fifteen minutes before serving, remove 1 cup of beans to a bowl and, using a fork, mash them and stir back into the pot to enhance the creamy texture of the dish. Add parsley and green onions. Simmer about 15 minutes, taste and adjust seasoning, and add up to 1 cup more water if beans seem too thick. Remove bay leaves. Serve over white long-grain rice.