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.
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
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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