The beans are rich and creamy and make for the perfect textural contrast to the crisp, buttery toasts.
2 cups of Romano beans, soaked overnight (or for at least 5 hours)
¾ cup pancetta, cubed
2 celery stalks, sliced thin
3 large leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and sliced thin
4 cups sodium-free stock (vegetable or chicken)
zest from 1 lemon
juice from 1 lemon
3 sprigs tarragon+more for garnish
½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
salt & pepper, to taste
few pinches red pepper flakes (optional)
1 loaf crusty white or whole wheat bread
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Place a large heavy pot (with fitted lid) on the stove over medium-high heat and let it warm up.
- Add the cubed pancetta and let the fat render until it’s crisp. Remove to a paper-towel-lined bowl.
- Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the pancetta fat from the pot and add the leeks and celery. Stir until they’ve softened. This will take about 4–5 minutes.
- Add the beans, stock, lemon zest, lemon juice, tarragon sprigs, a few pinches of salt, a generous amount of black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
- Bring to a boil. Put the lid on and place in the oven for 1½ hours.
- Remove the lid, stir everything around and place in the oven for another 40–60 minutes, until there is still enough liquid to keep things moist, but not soggy.
- Serve over toasted bread, garnished with tarragon and pepper.
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