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Butter beans with pancetta and balsamic vinegar

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Butter beans with pancetta and balsamic vinegar

This simple rustic dish is enhanced with a drizzle of balsamic just before serving.


  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 6 thick slices pancetta
  • 1 pear, peeled, corned and thickly sliced
  • 2x 400 gram cans butter beans, drained
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup currants
  • ¼ cup chopped celery leaves or parsley
  • 4 tablespoons quality balsamic vinegar


  1. Cook onion in the oil in a frying pan over a low heat for 12-15 minutes until soft and just coloured. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the pancetta to the pan, cook over a moderate heat until crispy, then add to the onion. In the residual oil pan-fry the pear slices on both sides until golden. Return the onion and pancetta to the pan with the beans, stock and currants, then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Simmer for 10 minutes until the beans are tender. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the celery leaves or parsley just before serving. Serve in bowls, drizzling each with 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Delicious served on slices of fresh juicy tomato or try it on grilled aubergine.

Cooks Tips

- Garlic is sweeter than onion, so when cooking them together, add the garlic towards the end of cooking to prevent it burning before the onion has softened.

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