Pix and I were at the DFM on Saturday and found these beautiful beans. In searching for recipes we found several including some on the Food Network list that used these pretty little things. You can buy fresh or get canned and soak overnight. We shelled our own. For Fun !
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 5 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 2-ounce piece pancetta (optional – totally not needed for the Vegan)
- 5 canned whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
- Kosher salt
- 3 pounds fresh cranberry beans in pods, shelled (or 1 cup dried cranberry beans, soaked overnight)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 piece parmesan cheese rind, plus 1/2 cup grated parmesan, and more for topping
- 2 cups small pasta, such as shells or ditalini
- 1 bunch kale, stems and ribs discarded, leaves chopped
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
- Freshly ground pepper
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, rosemary and pancetta, cook 2 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes and cook 2 more minutes; season with salt.
Add the beans, 3 quarts water, the bay leaves and parmesan rind. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the beans are tender, 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Uncover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Add the kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. (The soup should be thick and creamy; thin with water, if necessary.)
Remove the bay leaves, parmesan rind and pancetta, if used. Add the grated parmesan, parsley, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Top with more olive oil and parmesan.