The traditional beans for this stew are fagioli di Lamon, a dried cranberry type from Lamon, a town in Veneto. Dried borlotti, or cranberry, beans make a fine substitute.
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2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 pound dried borlotti, or cranberry, beans, soaked in water overnight and
1/4 pound prosciutto, in 1 piece
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 quart vegetable stock or water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
How to Make It
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Add the beans and prosciutto and cook until sizzling, about 4 minutes. Add the red wine and simmer over moderately high heat until almost evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add the parsley and stock and bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the beans are almost tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Uncover and simmer over moderate heat until thick, about 30 minutes longer. Discard the prosciutto, season with salt and pepper and serve.
The bean stew can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
The hearty beans and salty prosciutto are best complemented by a spicy red with smoky overtones. Look for an Italian Merlot or Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon.
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