Italian Baked Beans

Last weekend was spent “downa shore” with some family to celebrate Ells-Bells’ (not hear real name, but she has started responding to me when I use it) first birthday.

When I arrived on Friday, I jumped into the party-prep. Cousin Carin handed me a recipe and the ingredients for Italian-style baked beans and told me to wing it if we were missing anything. I was a little spooked it was going to turn out horribly and ruin the party, but it was actually quite delicious!

What follows isn’t a recipe so much as a vague idea of the dish. Feel free to reinterpret:

Saute one large onion with 5 cloves of garlic in olive oil. If you have an olive oil with herbs, like we did, use that. I think Carin said it was basting oil from Wegman’s. Let the onions get nice and soft, then add in 6 or so cubed Roma tomatoes. Amounts can vary – you want to have a nice distribution of tomatoes to onions. Let the hang out for a little bit, then add in sage and rosemary. If you don’t have one or the other, just substitute an herb of your choosing. I found a mixture of Italian seasoning from the Temecula Olive Oil Company and added that in. Add in some salt and pepper at this point as well. Once the herbs are incorporated, take off the heat and mix in 3 cans of white beans. Taste it at this point to determine if it needs anything else. Put it into a baking dish and bake until it’s a bit bubbly. Mix together panko or regular bread crumbs with olive oil, salt, pepper and any seasonings you like, then put on top of the beans. Return to oven and bake until golden brown and delicious.

So much better than throwing a couple of cans of baked beans into a crock pot.

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July 2, 2011. Make it again.

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