Fasole cu Cârnați, revisited

A bowl of Fasole cu cârnați, with pickled onions.

I decided to revisit this recipe from about 2 years ago. This Romanian dish is a delicious, hearty bean dish for a cold winter day. Popular all winter long, it’s cooked up in big vats by the Romanian Army, and served as part of the National Day celebrations on December 1st.

Coming back to it two years later, the first thing that jumped out at me about this recipe is that I didn’t wind up with a list of optional ingredients, which tells me that it’s made pretty much the same by anyone who makes it across Romania. While I’m sure that some version of beans and pork has been served for centuries, my guess, based on the various blogs and posts I’ve read about this that all mention that Army-National day connection, is that this particular recipe originated in Army kitchens and was then published in a newspaper somewhere, from whence everyone started making it the same way. Kind of like how %95 of chocolate chip cookie recipes out there are pretty much the Tollhouse recipe, even if the person publishing it swears it’s their grandma’s secret recipe.

Once again, I had to use the dried parsley root. I thought I was going to be going down to St. Paul this week and actually did some minimal research trying to see if I could find a store down there that carries fresh. Insta Cart claims that it’s available from one of the fancier chains of supermarkets down there, but when I went to that store’s website I couldn’t find it, and when I called the store closest to where I was going, they basically said “sometimes Insta Cart lies.” In the end my trip to the cities was postponed, so I just used the dry product I already had and didn’t put any more effort into trying to find fresh.

Keep reading below for my original post from January 2020 and the recipe.

Fasole cu carnati, served with a pickle

Fasole cu cârnați (“beans with sausages”, Romanian pronunciation: [faˈsole ku kɨrˈnat͡sʲ]) is a popular Romanian dish, consisting of baked beans and sausages. A variation replaces the sausages with afumătură (smoked meat).


Fasole is Romanian for beans. There are several traditional preparations of fasole, but for this post I’m sticking with the pork and beans theme I’ve been on for a while.

Wikipedia refers to it as a dish of baked beans. None of the recipes I looked at actually baked it, but the consistency of it makes me think it would probably be really tasty if you stuck it in the oven for an hour or two. Maybe I’ll try that next time.

I’ve once again come against a recipe calling for parsley root. I already dug up my one parsley plant to make Jókai Bean Soup and even if I hadn’t, my herb garden is literally under an 8 foot deep pile of snow I’ve shoveled off the back deck. I found one site online that ships fresh parsley root- a case of 12 bunches for almost $200. Even if I hadn’t quit my job last week I wasn’t interested in A) spending that much, or B) purchasing that quantity when I needed one root. Amazon doesn’t carry fresh parsley root, but I did find dried*. I threw a handfull of it into the pot with the other root vegetables, and by the time everything else was cooked it was nice and soft. When I used the fresh stuff I could definately tell wich bits were parsley root versus other things. I don’t know that I could particulary tell what the dried version added to the stew this time. I guess I’d have to make it without and see if I could tell the difference.

I used a mix of several different kinds of canned white beans this time. My sources didn’t actually give me any indication what variety of beans are traditional. One recipe called for “canned mixed beans”, which isn’t a thing here in the US, as far as I know (at least not as plain beans).

I saw a post on Facebook yesterday saying that “today is statistically the most ‘pffft’ day of the year”. My mood was definitely reflective of that. I wasn’t really excited about going shopping (or doing anything really), and when I got home discovered that i had grabbed “Light” smoked sausage. The dish could definitely have used some more flavor from a fattier, higher quality sausage. Next time I’ll make sure to swing by the meat market instead of buying the Hormel stuff from the grocery store.

I chopped up the sausage and smoked meat and cooked them into the dish, but I think that it would be more traditional to keep the sausage whole and serve it over the top. It’s also traditional to serve pickled vegetables with it. Pickled cucumbers are definately acceptable. Red onion with some vinegar is another traditional option.

Fasole cu Cârnați

Serves: 6
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour

½ Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups smoked sausage, sliced
14 oz. smoked pork (ribs, chops…)
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ tsp salt, or to taste

2 carrots, diced
1 parsnip, diced
1 fresh parsley root, diced
1 handfull dried parsley root
3 ½ oz celeriac, diced
1 red pepper, diced

29 oz. tomato sauce
1 Tablespoon paprika
½ teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons hot sauce
2 cups water (if you cooked your own beans, use the liquid from the beans)
1-2 bay leaves

45 oz. canned beans, drained and rinsed.
1 lb. dried beans, soaked overnight, cooked and drianed
pinch black pepper, or to taste
3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh dill, chopped

Fresh herbs for garnish (thyme, tarragon, parsley)

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pot. Brown sausage and ribs for a few minutes, and then add onion, garlic and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Saute for about 5 minutes, until the onion becomes translucent.

Add diced vegetables and saute for another 8-10 minutes until they begin to soften.

Add tomato sauce, spices, water and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or so, until vegetables are tender.

Add beans, black pepper and fresh herbs, and additional water if necessary to just cover beans. Continue to cook until hot. Check seasoning, and add salt or pepper if needed.

Garnish with fresh herbs. Serve with pickles.

*I receive no compensation for mentioning this product.

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