Smoked linguica sausage. Tender, creamy white beans. Portuguese cabbage, sliced so thin it’s like a spider web in your bowl. This is what you do with your homemade linguica, especially if you happen to have wild boar linguica, as I did.
There are a lot of versions of the famous Portuguese soup caldo verde, and this one is inspired by a recipe from the Azores I found in my friend David Leite’s cookbook The New Portuguese Table. It’s a peasant stew, really. Heavy on beans (or potatoes, in most versions) and heavy on the cabbage, most versions skimp on the linguica and don’t use stock or broth — water is all.
I like that. I like the clarity of flavor you get with water, and with a stew that doesn’t have 50 ingredients in it. Sometimes, simple is better.
Portuguese Linguica Stew
This stew comes together pretty fast, all things considered. If you use canned white beans, you can make it in 45 minutes — and this is easy enough to make on a weeknight.
Try to find real Portuguese sausage for this, whether it’s linguica or chourico. A Spanish chorizo or longaniza would be good, but not a Mexican chorizo — the spices are very different. In a pinch you can use hot Italian sausage.
And chances are you’ve never even heard of Portuguese cabbage. I have never seen it in markets; I love it so much, I grow it myself. Thankfully, regular ole’ collard greens are a great substitute. If you can’t find collards, I’d use Italian black kale or a dark savoy cabbage. Chard will do as a last resort.
This stew will keep in the fridge for a week. I’ve never frozen it, but if you do, let me know how it fares once thawed, OK?
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 pound linguica sausage, cut into large pieces
- 6 cups water
- 1/2 pound collard greens, stems removed and sliced very thin
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans or other white beans
- Ground black pepper
- Rinse the beans out thoroughly and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and saute the onions, stirring occasionally, until they just begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the white wine and cook this down by half.
- Add the bay leaves, red pepper flakes and water. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Add salt to taste. Cover, turn the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
- Uncover the pot and add the sausage, beans and collard greens. Cook for another 10 minutes. Serve with ground black pepper.