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Healthy Eating, Vegetables

Braised Romano beans with pancetta and cherry tomatoes

Braised Romano beans with pancetta and cherry tomatoes
Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times

Walk into a really hopping tapas bar in Spain or a swanky little osteria in Italy on a summer evening, and right at the front door you're likely to be confronted with a long table full of bowls of vegetables. ... Read more

Total time: About 1 hour, 25 minutes | Serves 6 to 8
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, in 1 slice about 1/2-inch thick
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped onions, about 1 medium
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds Romano beans, stems removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil

Step 1Unroll the pancetta and cut it into pieces about one-half-inch long. Heat the olive oil in a large saut? pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the pancetta and cook until the meat is well-browned and has rendered much of its fat, about 8 minutes.

Step 2Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat, return the pan to the heat and add the onions. Cook until the onions are tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and the Romano beans and stir them with the onions and pancetta. Add the salt and three-fourths cup water and reduce the heat to medium.

Step 3Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are silky in texture and extremely flavorful, about 45 minutes. If the mixture begins to cook dry, add a little more water.

Step 4When the beans are cooked, remove the lid and cook long enough to evaporate most of the remaining water, about 5 minutes.

Step 5Reduce the heat to low and add the cherry tomatoes. Cook until they are warmed through. Serve either warm or at room temperature, first stirring in the basil and tasting and correcting the seasoning.


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