You want a hearty stew on Sunday evening? We've got you covered: creamy white beans, diced tomatoes, and lots of Italian spices. This recipe will feed up to eight as a side dish or four as a main dish with a loaf of bread on the side. Save back the leftovers, heat a serving up for lunch, and grate Parmesan over the top. Lunch or dinner, it's ridiculously simple and ridiculously tasty. What more can you ask for? It should be supper this Sunday. Or any Sunday. Make it. Enjoy it. Even if you don't like it, we'll tell people you did. Because you will. Trust us. Or just come over for dinner this Sunday. You know what we'll be eating.
- 2 cups dried cannellini beans
- 1 small red onion, minced
- 1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, cored, and minced
- One 14-ounce can reduced-sodium diced tomatoes
- 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth broth
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Put the beans in a big saucepan, fill it about two-thirds full with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 1 minute, then cover and set aside for 1 hour. (Or if you think about this step the night before, soak the beans in a bowl of cool tap water on the counter overnight, no one-minute boiling required.)
2. Drain the beans in a colander set in the sink, then pour them into a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Stir in everything else: the onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, broth, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, sage, thyme, fennel seeds, dill, salt, and pepper.
3. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, until the beans are tender, stirring once or twice if you think about it. The stew will stay on the keep-warm setting for up to 3 hours. When you dish it up, imagine you're an Italian grandmother and drizzle a little more olive oil on each serving. Just because.
- For a lighter taste, substitite reduced-sodium vegetable broth.
- Use the stew as a bed for just about any protein off the grill. We love it under trout fillets. You pick your poison.
- Using reduced-sodium (or even no-salt-added) canned products not only cuts down on the salt signature of the stew but makes it taste better. Excess salt has no chance to evaporate away in a slow cooker.
- We boil the beans a bit (or soak them overnight) so they have the creamiest texture. If you toss them in raw, they'll break down and get gummy, rather than tender.
- The stew freezes exceptionally well--for up to 4 months in a tightly-sealed plastic container.