2000s Recipes + Menus
Slow-Cooked Tomato and Herb White Beans
- Active time:30 min
- Start to finish:4 hr (includes quick-soaking beans)
- 1 cup dried navy beans
- 6 cups water
- 1 medium carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium white onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 (3-inch) thyme sprigs
- 1 (3-inch) rosemary sprig
- 1 (3-inch) sage sprig
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
For tomato sauce
- 3 bacon slices, chopped
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup minced garlic (from 1 to 2 heads)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 lb tomatoes, chopped (3 cups)
- 1/2 cup canned tomato purée
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped thyme
Soak beans overnight (8 to 12 hours) in water to cover by 2 inches or quick-soak (see cooks’ note, below), then drain.
Bring beans, water (6 cups), carrot, onion, and herb sprigs to a simmer in a 4-qt heavy pot, then simmer, partially covered, until beans are al dente, about 45 minutes. Add kosher salt, then continue to simmer until beans are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour more.
Make tomato sauce while beans simmer:
Cook bacon in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Add oil and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden, about 12 minutes. Add garlic, kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is softened, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato purée, and thyme and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.
Discard carrot and herb sprigs. Drain beans in a sieve set over a bowl, reserving cooking liquid, and return beans to pot. Add tomato sauce and 1 1/2 cups bean-cooking liquid and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 45 minutes.
- To quick-soak beans, cover with water by 2 inches in a 3-qt heavy saucepan and bring to a boil, then boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and cover, then soak 1 hour. Drain, discarding water.
- Dish can be made 2 days ahead and chilled. Thin with water if necessary while reheating.