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Stewed Cannellini Beans with Tomatoes and Guanciale
© Dave Lauridsen

Stewed Cannellini Beans with Tomatoes and Guanciale

  • ACTIVE: 40 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 40 MIN plus overnight soaking

"I ate a ton of cannellini beans when I lived in Tuscany," Richard Betts says. "I made them a lot as a poor student. I still make them. Nothing has changed." Here, he tosses them with tomato sauce spiked with chiles and guanciale, the Italian bacon made from pig jowls or cheek.

  1. 2 cups dried cannellini beans (3/4 pound), soaked overnight and drained
  2. 1 small onion, halved, plus 1 large onion, finely chopped
  3. Kosher salt
  4. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 1/2 pound guanciale or pancetta, finely chopped
  6. 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  7. 3 dried hot red chiles
  8. 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  9. 1 teaspoon finely chopped sage
  10. One 28-ounce can peeled whole Italian tomatoes in puree, crushed by hand
  11. 1 teaspoon finely chopped marjoram
  12. Freshly ground pepper
  1. In a saucepan, cover the beans and halved onion with water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the heat, add a generous pinch of salt and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain the beans and spread them on a baking sheet to cool slightly; discard the onion.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the guanciale and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until translucent and the fat is just rendered, 5 minutes. Add the chopped onion, garlic and chiles and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion is softened and just starting to brown, 8 minutes. Stir in the rosemary and sage and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with their juices and bring just to a simmer.
  3. Add the beans to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until coated in a light sauce, about 7 minutes. Stir in the marjoram, season with salt and pepper and serve.
Make Ahead The beans can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat gently and add the marjoram before serving.
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