Monday, March 14, 2011

Roasted Beans in Tomato Sauce with Polenta

My latest cooking extravaganza was inspired by a recipe I found in Simply Recipes.  On my last trip to Barrio Chino, I found some huge beans and couldn't wait to figure out a delicious way to cook them.  After seeing the baked beans recipe from simply recipes, I decided to test it out with the cheesy polenta that I love to make because it takes 5 seconds and tastes fantastic.  The combination was perfect.  You have to have a little time on your hands for this one because dried beans are impenetrable little devils, but it was worth it.


  • 1 pound dry beans, largest you can find
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 pound bacon or panceta, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dried sage
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili flakes (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt 
  • 1 package instant polenta
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated (any sharp cheese is fine)
  • Milk
  • Queso Finlandia
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Directions:  Soak beans overnight in water.  Drain beans and cover with water.  Bring to boil, then simmer for 1+ hour or until nearly cooked and tender.  Preheat oven to medium heat.  In a pot that can go in the oven, saute panceta in olive oil until browned.  Add onions, saute 5 min.  Add garlic, herbs and spices.  Add honey and tomato paste.  Stir to incorporate.  Add tomato sauce and water or chicken stock.  Bring to simmer.  Drain beans and add them to pot.  Stir and place in oven for 2+ hours.  The longer, slower the cooking, the more the sauce reduces and the richer it becomes.

Prepare the polenta.  Read the directions and prepare the polenta based on the number of portions you want.  Adjust accordingly.  Bring milk to a simmer with a pinch of salt.  Turn off heat.  Quickly drizzle in polenta and stir quickly.  Add 3/4 of cheese and 4 generous tablespoons of finlandia.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  I find that it often needs quite a bit to salt to bring all the flavors out.

Serve beans over polenta and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

No comments:

Post a Comment