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White Beans with Salt Pork

This white beans recipe is from Fabio Trabocchi's cookbook, "Cucina of Le Marche," and goes wonderfully with his Grilled Pork Chops.

  • servings: 6




  • 2 cups dried cannellini beans, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 pound salt pork, rind removed or pancetta
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 pound prosciutto, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 canned plum tomatoes, drained, seeded, and finely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 slices (1/2 inch thick) crusty country bread, such as ciabatta, toasted


  1. Step 1

    Place beans and baking soda in a large bowl. Add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Let soak, overnight, at room temperature.

  2. Step 2

    If using salt pork, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add salt pork and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and let cool.

  3. Step 3

    Cut salt pork or pancetta into 1/2-inch cubes. Place in a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover by 1/2 inch. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add rosemary and continue cooking until tender, adding more water as necessary to keep meat covered by 1/4 inch, about 30 minutes for salt pork or 10 minutes for pancetta. Remove from heat and set aside.

  4. Step 4

    Drain beans and place in a medium saucepan. Add enough fresh water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 35 minutes, skimming any impurities that rise to the surface. Remove from heat and set aside.

  5. Step 5

    Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, prosciutto, and parsley; cook, stirring, until onion and garlic are lightly golden, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Drain salt pork or pancetta and add to pan, along with beans and their cooking liquid. Bring to a simmer, skimming surface as necessary. Partially cover saucepan, reduce heat and gently simmer until beans are tender and salt pork is translucent, about 20 minutes.

  6. Step 6

    Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt; serve with bread.

The Martha Stewart Show, July Summer 2008



Reviews (1)

  • welove2cook 25 Jul, 2008

    This was a tasty accompaniment to the grilled pork chops. Having said that, we didn't think it was much different in flavor than when we just cook white beans, adding some broth, onion, ham (or just the bone), salt and pepper. (Note: Since the recipe doesn't say when to use the pepper, we seasoned the beans with it at the end, along with the olive oil and salt.)