This ragu is delicious and very easy to make. I decided to make it dried beans and soaked them overnight, but you can definitely make them with the canned variety. The dried beans give the dish a bit more depth of flavor but the canned ones are very comparable.
I started with pancetta, onion, celery, carrots and garlic. I got fresh herbs from my backyard including rosemary, thyme and sage. I always buy San Marzano tomatoes which are special ones grown in Italy and have an amazing flavor. Some white wine and chicken broth later, I had a start to a very delicious stew. I let it cook for a couple of hours. The good thing about this dish is you can make it in advance. In fact it will taste better the next day as all the flavors will have a chance to marry.
Make this ragu with the lamb roast and have a wonderful holiday.
- 1 pound dried cannellini beans, soaked in water over night
- ½ cup chopped pancetta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 2 small celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage
- 1 28 oz can of San Marzano peeled tomatoes, put through the food mill
- 1 cup white wine
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Process the vegetables in the food processor till chopped very fine.
In a large, deep saucepan heat the olive oil and add the pancetta. Saute on medium high heat for 4-5 minutes till the pancetta becomes golden brown.
Add the processed vegetables and the herbs and sauté on a medium high heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the white wine and tomatoes. Mix well. Add the beans and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and bring the heat down to low and cover the pan. Cook for at least an hour and half or two- till the beans are soft. Add salt to taste. Cook the beans on a high heat if there is too much liquid. The consistency should be stew like. This can made 2 days ahead and refrigerated.
To serve, pour the beans into an ovenproof bowl and sprinkle the cheese and bake for 30 minutes.
Serve with the roast lamb and roast vegetables.