Incredibly flavorful and filling, this White Bean and Tomato Ragout Over Ciabatta is the perfect healthy comfort food dish.
Ok guys. It appears the chocolate bunnies and malted milk eggs, in addition to Monday’s Apricot Preserves Crumb Cake have caught up with me. Wah wah.
It’s time for me to get back on track and perhaps shed a few pounds. Unfortunately, as we all get older it seems that’s easier said than done. I say “we” because misery loves company, so humor me even if you’re a 20 something who can eat whatever you want and not put on a pound, ok?! So today’s recipe for White Bean and Tomato Ragout over Ciabatta is one of my favorite meals for when I’m on a quest for dishes that will keep me fuller, longer, but are still incredibly delicious.
I actually can’t believe I haven’t shared this recipe sooner. I saved this one from Bon Appetit Magazine from May 2012, and I’ve made it countless times since then. It never gets old. We all know that beans are a superfood. They’re packed with calcium, B vitamins, iron and potassium. They’ve got protein, fiber and a huge amount of filling power. They’re easy to cook with and very inexpensive. And take it from me, this is one dish that packs in lots of flavor.
The base of this recipe is a soffritto. A soffritto is a base for soups and stews which consists of a mixture of finely chopped vegetables such as onion, garlic, peppers, carrots and celery sauteed slowly in olive oil. The soffritto for this recipe is a mixture of onion, red pepper and garlic. Once the vegetables are nice and soft you simply add the beans and broth and bring to a simmer. While the ragout is simmering, toast up your ciabatta that’s been sprinkled with a bit of parmesan and drizzled with olive oil. Then when the ragout has thickened, add the tomatoes and cook until tender.
I like to serve this up in shallow bowls. Place one piece of toast per bowl and top with some of the bean mixture. Sprinkle with some extra parm and finely chopped fresh parsley. This flavorful, zesty dish is healthy comfort food at its best! Enjoy!
- 2 cups finely chopped onion
- 1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, 3 finely minced 1 halved
- 2 tsp. tomato paste
- 4-6 1 inch slices toasted ciabatta
- 8-10 Tbsp. grated parmesan, divided
- 2 15 oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 Tbsp. fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and peppers and season with salt and pepper. Simmer until vegetables are softened, about 30 minutes, stirring often. Add the minced garlic and the tomato paste and cook, stirring often until the tomato paste turns a dark red, about 3 minutes. Measure 3/4 cup soffritto and set aside; reserve skillet. Transfer remaining soffritto to a container and let cool, uncovered. Mixture can be stored in fridge for up to 4 days or freezer for 3 months.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rub bread slices with remaining garlic clove. Place bread on baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle each slice with 1 Tbsp. parmesan cheese. Toast for 5 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.
- Heat 3/4 cup soffritto and beans in same skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until heated through, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Simmer, scraping up brown bits from bottom of skillet, until liquid thickens, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes. Simmer until tomatoes are tender, 3-4 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper.
- Place one slice of bread per bowl and top with some of bean mixture. Garnish each bowl with the remaining 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese and parsley. Drizzle with olive oil if desired.
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine May 2012