This is a really tasty dish and perfect for leftover ham. It is a great dish to come home to after a walk as it is warm and filling. You can use tinned beans as a quick alternative tho using the beans you soak does add more dept of flavour since they need to be cooked for much longer . However sometimes life is too short to remember to overnight soak beans…We had this on Christmas eve after mass and it fed 4 hungry adults after some unexpected callers turned up. It really is worth trying with the beans that need longer cooking if you are ever around the house for the day with no great plans as the taste is that bit better and the beans hold their structure better for this dish.
2 tins of Cannellini beans or 1 1/2 cups beans soaked overnight in cold water
1 carrot finely diced
1 onion finely diced
2 cloves garlic peeled sliced and crushed
3 sprigs of thyme
1 tin chopped tomatoes with as much of liquid removed as possible
6 oz ham – I used boiled ham hock left over from preparing ham terrines
500 ml stock – I used chicken and topped up with about 100 ml water during cooking
3 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp breadcrumbs (optional)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp grated Parmesan
Sweat onion, carrot and garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil on medium heat until they soften
Add thyme, tomatoes, ham and beans, Cover with the stock and bring to boil and turn down to very gentle simmer. If using tinned beans, cook for about 15 mins. if using soak ones then simmer for about 1 to 1.5 hours. Add more liquid if needed during the cooking.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Take out the thyme springs and tip into a casserole dish. Stir in half the parsley and season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle over the Parmesan & breadcrumbs if using with the rest of the parsley.
Bake in the oven for 10 mins (or 40 if you used the dried beans), until a lovely crusty top from the Parmesan forms.
Enjoy and let me know what you thought of this delicious use of leftovers..