• 400 g dried beans or cannellini beans
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 red onions, finely chopped
  • 150 g pancetta or finely chopped smoked bacon
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 400 g crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons dark muscovado sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar


  1. Soak the beans overnight. Drain them, put them in a saucepan, cover with fresh water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until tender, then remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the onions and pancetta and cook for 6-8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, sugar, vinegar and 400ml of water, then add the beans. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1½-2 hours, stirring occasionally, until you have a thick sauce and tender beans. Serve beans on toast with grated cheese, if desired.

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