Jacques's Ragout of White Beans
- 1 lb. Great Northern or other small white beans,
sorted through and rinsed
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 3 oz. lean pancetta, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
While the beans are cooking, in a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the pancetta, toss to coat with the oil and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the onions, garlic, thyme and the 1/4 tsp. pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and garlic are soft, about 10 minutes more.
When the beans are nearly tender, stir in the pancetta-onion mixture and return to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the beans are done, about 10 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Strain or ladle out any liquid covering the beans.
For a thick, creamy texture, remove 1 cup of the beans and puree in a blender or food processor; stir the puree through the rest of the beans. Adjust the seasonings as needed with salt and pepper. Just before serving, sprinkle the chopped parsley over the beans.