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Spicy Greens and Creamy Parmesan Bean Stew

5 from 4 votes
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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 anchovies, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 slices bacon, finely diced
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound of uncooked cannellini white beans, soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 parmesan cheese rind
  • 1 bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1 bunch of flat-leaf spinach, about 2 cups
  • 2 cups of arugula greens, chopped
  • shave parmesan for topping
  • a crusty baguette for serving


  • Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the anchovies and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper flakes, stirring well, and saute until the anchovies melt into the oil. Add in the bacon, onion, salt, pepper and paprika and toss to coat. Cook until the bacon crisps and the onion softens, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute. Add in the soaked beans, water, stock and parmesan rind. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are falling apart, most of the water is absorbed and the mixture is thick and creamy. I simmered mine covered for about 1.5 hours, then took the lid off for the remaining time. If at any time the stew seems to be drying out, add more water or stock.
  • Use a potato mashed and smash some of the beans to give the mixture a thicker consistency. If it seems too thick, you can add a bit of water or stock – however much you’d like to get to the consistency you desire. Stir in the kale, spinach and arugula. Toss in the remaining pepper flakes. Cook over low heat, stirring until the greens are wilted, about 5 minutes. Taste and season as desired, adding more pepper flakes, salt and pepper if you’d like.
  • Serve immediately with shaved parmesan some crusty bread!


[slightly adapted fromĀ bon appetit, february 2014 issue]

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