Are you familiar with Corona beans? They’re a large white bean way bigger than cannellini, an old fashioned heirloom bean from Europe, Italy has a fondness for them. They’re big to begin with in the dry state but when you cook them they become huge, the picture doesn’t really show how big they get but I measured them to be about an inch and a quarter in their cooked state.
They have a nice creamy texture similar to a potato.
I picked up a bag at the Rancho Gordo store in the Ferry building in San Francisco last week on our vacation, it can be difficult to find Corona beans in the stores most of the time but online you should have no problem.
You will find many producers of these beans but Rancho Gordo is one of my favorites, In fact I love all their beans, and I’m not getting paid to say that!
I decided to go out and buy a new crock pot since I never used mine and gave it away to my daughter, I wanted to slow cook my Corona’s after I saw my friend Cathy make a pot of Greek Gigante beans, which is also a large white bean. She tossed all the ingredients into the crock pot including the dry beans, not pre-soaked, but dry.
I have to say I wouldn’t recommend tossing in dry Corona’s they took forever to cook and to reach that creamy point, it was close to twelve hours, so next time I would definitely pre- soak them overnight to get them started and reduce the simmering time, like I said these beans are huge and they’re not exactly the same type as the Gigante beans that Cathy used, so my recipe instructions will be slightly different than hers.
This is my Italian version of pork and beans! Beans flavored with parmesan, garlic, onions, bacon, thyme, tomatoes and red pepper flakes then after they’re cooked, topped with a ring of the best Italian sausage you can buy, which will be pan seared and placed on top for serving. This is comfort food, stick to your ribs food, a welcome to fall!
You have to be patient, this isn’t a quick meal, you can make the beans the day before if you want either in the slow cooker or simmering on top of the stove, I guarantee your house will smell amazing and it’s definitely worth the wait!
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- 8 oz. dried Corona beans that have been soaked in water overnight for at least 8 hours, then drained
- 3 oz. bacon, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup of water
- 1 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes or squished whole tomatoes
- 1 or 2 parmesan rinds
- a small handful of fresh thyme sprigs
- a big pinch of red pepper flakes
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb. cooked, pan seared Italian sausage to serve on top of beans when finished cooking
- Place every single ingredient into a heavy pot or crock pot, simmer low and slow for hours, soaking the beans overnight will shorten the time. The true test for doneness is to taste at least 5 beans because beans all cook at different times.
- They should not be hard or have a crunch to the bite but rather they should taste creamy and soft like a potato.
- They could take anywhere between 3 - 6 or more hours depending on how high your flame is or how fast your crock pot takes.
- Keep tasting for salt, and remember they blow up, and the liquid will absorb them.
- Remember they should reach the creamy point!
- Serve them in pan with curved sides topped with the pre-cooked sausage ring.