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Italian baked beans

Bean dishes are really under rated and this Italian style baked bean recipe with a golden crust is just fantastic. I must confess, I seldom cook beans but the idea that beans on their own can be a meal caught my eye and I just had to try it. They were very tasty but for me would be an accompaniment at a braai. It takes quite a bit of effort but is definitely worth it. It’s very morish. (Party size side dish for about 10 to 12 people or 6 people as a meal)

What you need

400g tin Cannellini beans
400g tin kidney beans, red ones
2 x 400g tins chopped peeled tomatoes
250g bacon chopped
2 medium onions halved and sliced
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
½ cup red wine
1 cup water
Palm chopped Basil
Palm chopped Parsley
2 cups breadcrumbs
Parmesan cheese

The process

Cook the bacon in a pan over a medium to high heat until lightly browned, add the onions and the garlic and cook until the onions are transparent. Remove from the pan, wipe it with paper towel to remove most of the fat and then return the mixture to the pan.

Add the wine and cook until the wine has reduced by about ½ (5 minutes or so) Stir from time to time. Drain the beans.

Add the tomatoes straight from the tin with all the liquid, the water and the beans. Bring it to the boil and add the parsley and basil, mix to combine evenly.

Place the mixture into a large oven dish and cover with breadcrumbs, leaving about ½ cup till the end. Bake in a 180 Celsius oven for 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and with a spoon, partly mix some of the breadcrumbs into the mixture. Now add the last of the breadcrumbs, give it a good sprinkling of grated parmesan and return to the oven for 20 minutes until the top is golden and crisp.

Do I hear gourmet braai? Yes please. italian food lovers, take a look at these pasta recipes