Boston Beans

A student of Mim's, Daniela Di Giacomo, has very thoughtfully, given us a delicious slow-cooked version of her 'baked bean' recipe AND a convenient quick version.

The quick version

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 rashers rindless bacon, chopped
  • 1 small brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2x 400g cans borlotti beans, drained, rinsed
  • handful flat-leaf parsley leaves

Method

  1. Heat oil and sauté bacon until cooked. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Add onion and cook until tender then add garlic and paprika. Cook until fragrant.
  3. Return bacon to frying pan. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, tomato paste and beans. Cook on low simmer, stirring often, for 10 - 20 minutes or until preferred consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve

The slow cooked version

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 300g - 400g borlotti beans, soaked for 8 hours and rinsed well
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 120g Pancetta or slab bacon, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 small brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 2x 400g cans diced tomatoes
  • Fresh bay/rosemary/sage leaves
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Handful flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Kombu (a seaweed…available from health food or Asian food shops)

Method

  1. Drain the beans. In a large pot, combine the beans with enough water to cover them by a few centimetres. Add a stick of kombu. Bring to the boil, lower the heat to simmer and cook for 45 – 60 minutes or until they are just tender. Drain the beans and set aside the cooking liquid.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C
  3. In a deep casserole dish with a lid, heat oil and sauté pancetta/bacon until cooked. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. Add onion and cook until tender then add garlic, carrots, celery and paprika. Cook until fragrant.
  5. Return bacon to frying pan. Add the tomatoes, herbs, tomato paste and beans. Add enough of the cooking liquid to just cover the beans. Stir to blend. Bring to boil on stove top then transfer to oven for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Add more bean liquid if getting too dry.
  6. When the beans are tender, uncover the pot and cook for further 20 – 30 minutes.