People shy away from dried legumes, but they are economical, nutritionally sensible, and rich in flavor. The only requirement is that they soak overnight for proper cooking. After that, it is smooth sailing.
- 1 pound dry cannellini, soaked overnight
- 2 meaty ham hocks, halved (ask your butcher to do this for you)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 fresh bay leaves or 6 dried
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs, needles stripped
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
Drain and rinse the beans.
Put the ham hocks in a pot with water to cover, bring to a boil, and simmer 10 minutes, to remove some of the saltiness. Drain and rinse.
In a large pot, combine the blanched ham hocks, onion, carrots, celery, bay leaves, rosemary, and 2 quarts of water. Bring to a simmer, simmer for 15 minutes to blend the flavors, and then add the beans. Cover, and cook until the beans are tender, about 1 hour, adding a little more water as necessary to keep the beans soupy.
To finish, stir in the oil and salt, and let the mixture steep about 15 minutes, off heat, before serving.