|Serves||4 to 6|
Culinate editor’s note: The polenta recipe here will just serve four, while the beans and tomato sauce are quite generous. Double the polenta recipe to make sure there’s enough to go around.
This is a complete winter’s meal. It’s hearty and vegetarian, but if you want to include Italian sausage, cook it separately, slice it, and serve on top of the finished dish. For a streamlined process, make the tomato sauce and the beans ahead and heat them together while you cook the polenta.
|3||Tbsp. unsalted butter|
|½||medium yellow onion, chopped|
|1||medium fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped|
|3||garlic cloves, finely chopped|
|4||tsp. chopped fresh oregano|
|¼||tsp. red-pepper flakes|
|~||Salt and freshly ground pepper|
|1||small carrot, peeled and shredded|
|~||One can (28 ounces) whole San Marzano tomatoes or plum tomatoes|
|2||cups cooked and drained borlotti beans (about ⅓ pound dried beans; see Note, below)|
|⅓||cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley|
|2||Tbsp. unsalted butter|
|½||cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnishing|
|~||Freshly ground pepper|
This dish is best made with a rich, creamy bean. If borlotti are unavailable, try French horticulture, or wren’s egg, beans.
Culinate editor’s note: To cook dried beans, Sando and Barrington recommend the following: Put the beans into a large pot and cover with an inch of water. Let sit for two to six hours. If you wish, sauté an aromatic mirepoix of diced onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, and add this to the beans just before cooking them. When ready to cook the beans, add water to the pot so the beans are still covered by an inch of water. Bring to a boil and cook for five minutes, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for a few hours, until the beans are cooked. Add salt to taste; the authors suggest about 2 teaspoons salt per pound of dried beans.
This content is from the book Heirloom Beans by Vanessa Barrington and Steve Sando.
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