Adapted from this Dinner, A Love Story post. As Jenny notes, the beauty of this sort of meal is that you really don’t have to measure.
If you don’t have a slow cooker, here’s my mother’s oven method.
Beans: I love gigante beans but they are hard to find, and they’ve gotten so expensive. Use any white bean you like here. Cooking time will vary depending on the age and type of bean you are using.
Note: You can soak the beans prior to cooking if you wish, and I recomm end doing so if you are using Gigante beans, but you do not have to. If you do soak, the cooking time may be shorter. Gigante beans take anywhere from 8 to 12 hours, so plan ahead.
I love these spooned over this oven-roasted polenta.
- 8 oz dried white beans, such as Gigante, Great Northern, or Cannellini (see notes above)
- 1 bay leaf
- pinch red pepper flakes (I use 1/2 teaspoon)
- a few cloves garlic, smashed
- two onions, chopped to yield about 2 cups
- 1.5 cups crushed tomatoes (I love Pomi finely diced tomatoes)
- a few sprigs thyme
- parmesan rind if you have one
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt or to taste
- fresh cracked pepper to taste
- shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano for serving
- toasted bread for serving or oven-roasted polenta
- Place everything with the exception of the Parmigiano Reggiano and toasted bread or polenta, into your crockpot. Cook on high for at least 6 to 8 hours. Depending on the type of bean you are using, the times will vary. If using unsoaked gigante beans, it may take as long as 12 hours to cook.
- When the beans are done, taste the broth. Add more salt to taste.
- Ladle broth into bowls over toasted bread or serve toasted bread on the size. Shave Parmigiano Reggiano over top. Crack pepper over top. Drizzle more olive oil over top if you wish.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 hours
- Category: Beans
- Method: Slow Cooker, Crockpot
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: slow cooker, crockpot, beans, simple, winter, gigante, white