Thursday, April 10, 2008

the last of stew

Spring has finally arrived today, so it's a good thing I snuck in one final stewy meal last night. This is a white bean and arugula stew, adapted from a Gourmet Magazine recipe that Smitten Kitchen recently featured. This is a super simple, very quick and hearty meal, but SK had noted in her post that it was a bit lackluster in flavor. So I decided to turn up the flavor a bit, and one of things I did was swap out the boiled ham for some beautiful pancetta.

I also added some onion, fresh thyme, and hot pepper to give it a kick, then threw in the leftover rind of a Spanish Idiazabal cheese. Yum, and yum. This is definitely a recipe that can be fiddled with to suit your tastes. I served it with some grilled Tuscan bread. Recipe after the jump:

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1/3 pound pancetta, cut into small cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1 15-ounce can stewed tomatoes
2 15-ounce cans canellini beans
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
3 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
rind of parmiggiano, pecorino, or other hard cheese, optional
salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups baby arugula

In a medium saucepot, heat pancetta cubes until just starting to crisp and give off fat. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain. If there is not enough fat in the pot, add enough olive oil to make about 2 tbsp total. Saute the onion in the oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute another minute. Clear a hot spot in the pan and add the pepper flakes, let sizzle for a few seconds, then mix with the onions and garlic. In the can, cut the tomatoes into pieces with kitchen shears then add to the onions and garlic with the chicken stock, thyme leaves, and cheese rind. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer until it just begins to reduce. Rinse and drain the beans and add to the pot along with the pancetta. Simmer for another 5 minutes or until beans are heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the pan from the heat and add in the arugula, allowing it to wilt for about 1 minute. Serve with grilled Tuscan bread that has been rubbed with a raw garlic clove.

1 comment:

Leah said...

Looks so delicious. With its pretty colors, it's the perfect winter-spring transitional soup. Yummmm!

p.s. isn't twitter ridiculously fun?