Cannellini Beans Stew, my Italian Baked Beans

Cannellini Beans Stew, my Italian Baked Beans


 Cannellini. You can buy great tinned ones these days and you shouldn’t be made feel guilty if you’d rather quickly open a tin a of goodness now instead of soaking your beans yesterday…This is fast food at its best.


serves 4

  • 2 tins of cannellini beans, well drained (or 1- 1/2 pounds of dried beans soaked over night and simmered for 2 hours or until cooked through)

  • 2 French shallots, thinly sliced

  • 1 celery stick, thinly sliced, 1 garlic clove, bashed with the back of a knife

  • 1/4 cup of diced smoked pancetta, or speck, or chorizo (omit for a vegetarian option)

  • 1/2 chillie, thinly sliced

  • 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tins of tomatoes, chopped (or home-made passata)

  • 1-2 sprigs of rosemary

  • a pinch of sugar

  • a drizzle of balsamic vinegar

  • celery leaves

  • salt to taste

  • bread or soft polenta for serving


1. Heat up the oil in a large, heavy based frying pan. Add the sliced shallot, garlic, chillie and celery and stir-fry over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant and soft.

2. Add the pancetta or chorizo and cook together with the vegetables for a further 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the drained beans, combine the ingredients well with a wooden spoon, the add the tinned tomatoes (or passata), a pinch a sugar and the rosemary sprig. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the sauce has reduced. Taste for salt and adjust accordingly.

4. Turn off the heat, drizzle a little balsamic vinegar on top, scatter a few celery leaves and serve with grilled ciabatta  or soft polenta.




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