Ferrara has some wonderful hybrid Italian/Jewish dishes. Hamim was Jewish brisket type meal with meatballs. In the cradle of Ferrara the brisket was replaced with Italian sausages and olives. The Jewish base of beans, Israeli cous cous and tomato were retained with new regional influence:


Hamim, Italian style

2tbsp. olive oil

1lb. Local sausage (hot or sweet)

3 cloves garlic

1 red onion sliced 

1 carrot or parsnip sliced thin

1 tbsp rosemary

1 1/4 cups white beans

1/3 cup Israeli Couscous

2 cups diced tomatoes (if from a can include liquid)

1 cup stock (or chicken bullion)

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

In a cast iron skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Brown sausages, about three minutes per side; set aside. Add garlic, carrot or parsnip and rosemary to skillet; cook stirring, until onion is softened. Add beans, tomatoes, stock, vinegar and Couscous; bring to a boil then simmer until thick enough to scoop with a cracker.

Slice sausages thin, nestle into the bean/Couscous mixture. Simmer

Eat with crackers, toasts, or crusty bread.

Takes about 30 minutes all in. Feels like rustic luxury on the table – nice bottle of red works well too.

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