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White Bean Ragout with Grilled Parmesan Toast

By 12:51 PM , , , , , , , , , ,

Although it is not exactly cold outside, I've started getting into fall mode - at least as far as cooking is concerned.  I love summer - and all the garden vegetables that come with it, but I'm ready for the cooler weather and the food that comes with fall - the braises, chili, soups and stews.  Transitioning to this mindset, it's no wonder this recipe caught my eye.

This is the perfect fall recipe.  The  ragout has all the components for the ideal meal on a cold rainy day.  The initial sofrito (onions and peppers) purposely makes extra - but this is nice to have on hand, what dish isn't made better when started with minced onions, garlic and peppers?

When cooked, there is just enough liquid for the bread to sop up, and a lot of flavor from very simple ingredients.  The tomatoes give a perfect sweetness to balance the saltiness of the beans, broth and Parmesan. This is the perfect, rustic cold weather supper.

White Bean Ragout with Grilled Parmesan Toast

3 Onions, Chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 Garlic Cloves - 3 Grated, 1 Halved
2 teaspoons Tomato Paste
Loaf of Italian Bread
1 Cup Grated Parmesan
2 -15 Ounce Cans of Cannellini/White Kidney Beans. Rinsed and Drained
4 Cups of Vegetable Broth
1 Cup Cherry Tomatos, cut in half
2 Tablespoons Flat Leaf Parsley, Chopped

To make the sofrito:  Pulse onions in the food processor to mince - but stop before the are pureed. Do the same thing with your bell pepper, and combine onion and pepper in a bowl and set aside.

Heat your olive oil over medium heat, and when hot add the onion/pepper mixture.  Let this cook down until onions and pepper are very soft  soft - about 30 minutes.

Add the grated garlic and tomato paste and stir to combine.  Let this cook for about 5 minutes - it will become a deep red.  Measure out 1/2 cup of sofrito and freeze/refrigerate the rest.  This is a great base to many recipes.

Preheat the oven to 375, and slice the bread into thick slices, and rub both sides with the split garlic clove. and cover with grated parmesan and set aside.

In your pan, add the 1/2 cup of sofrito and the beans, cook for about a minute, until they're heated through and three cups of broth.  Let this simmer for about five minutes, stirring and scraping brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the tomatoes and the last cup of broth and simmer for five minutes more.

While your ragout is simmering, put the bread in the oven and toast until browned, and the cheese it melted.

Season the ragout with parmesan, salt and pepper.

Serve the ragout over the toast and garnish with the chopped parsley.  Enjoy!

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