Jacques's Ragout of White Beans
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 70 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6
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- 1 lb. Great Northern or other small white beans,
sorted through and rinsed
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 3 oz. lean pancetta, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Wine PairingThis pairs well with crisp, medium-bodied white wines like the Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc, Napa County/Sonoma County from our Wine Club.
Directions:In a large pot, combine the beans with 6 cups cold water and the 1 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil and simmer gently, partially covered. After 1 hour, taste several beans to check for doneness. They should be tender to the bite but not mushy. Simmer longer if necessary.
While the beans are cooking, in a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the pancetta, toss to coat with the oil and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the onions, garlic, thyme and the 1/4 tsp. pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and garlic are soft, about 10 minutes more.
When the beans are nearly tender, stir in the pancetta-onion mixture and return to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the beans are done, about 10 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Strain or ladle out any liquid covering the beans.
For a thick, creamy texture, remove 1 cup of the beans and puree in a blender or food processor; stir the puree through the rest of the beans. Adjust the seasonings as needed with salt and pepper. Just before serving, sprinkle the chopped parsley over the beans.
Adapted from Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, by Julia Child and Jacques Pépin (Knopf, 1999).