Dutch Oven Italian Bean and Pasta Stew

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[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]

Dutch Oven Italian Bean and Pasta Stew- Let this one simmer all afternoon. That gives the beans plenty of time to become soft and creamy while the sweet browned onions melt into the rich bean broth.  A great way to slow cook beans all day to have a hearty dish ready in the afternoon.

This recipe also makes a lot! More than enough for two people to eat for dinner every night for a week.

Beans can really vary in how long they take to cook, so it’s good to give yourself some leeway when making this. I’ve had batches where they cooked in 60 minutes and others that took over two hours!

prep time: 10 min
Cook time: up to four hours
Serves 8 to 10

 

Dutch Oven Italian Bean and Pasta Stew Ingredients
For the beans:
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons salt, divided
  • 1 pound dried cannellini beans 9any kind of dried beans will work

For the soup:

  • 1/2 pound (5 to 6 pieces) thick-cut bacon , diced (or substitute 1 tablespoon olive oil for vegetarian version)
  • 2 large yellow onions, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup white wine or water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 pound pasta
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • 10 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Pepper to taste

 

Dutch Oven Italian Bean and Pasta Stew directions:

  1. Combine the water and 1 1/2 tablespoons salt in a large mixing bowl and stir to dissolve the salt. Add the beans, cover the bowl, and let stand at least 6 hours or overnight.
  2. In a heavy stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon.
  3. Once all the fat has rendered, remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  4. Pour off all put one tablespoon of bacon fat.
  5. Cook the onions slowly with 1/2 teaspoon of salt start to caramelize and turn golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Add the celery and cook just until the celery is softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  7. Remove half of the onion mixture and reserve with the bacon. Deglaze the pan with one cup of wine or water, scraping up any brown residue that has formed on the bottom of the pan.
  8. Drain and rinse the beans and pour them into the pot or dutch oven with the remaining onions.
  9. Add the bay leaf, 1 teaspoon of salt, and enough water to cover the beans and onions by 1 inch.
  10. Cook for 1 hour, then begin checking the beans for doneness.
  11. Check the beans every 15 minutes until they are completely soft and creamy. (This can take up to 2 1/2 hours depending on the age and exact variety of your beans.)
  12. Set the pot of cooked beans over medium-high heat on a grill set over a campfire or in a dutch oven.
  13. Add the bacon, reserved onions, thyme, pasta, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  14. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente.
  15. Add more water if necessary so the pasta is submerged.
  16. Add the spinach to the pot and stir until it is wilted.
  17. Remove the bay leaf and the thyme stems.
  18. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.
Dutch Oven Italian Bean and Pasta Stew on March 5, 2015 rated 4.7 of 5
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