Beans (skip this if using canned beans):
4 cups of dried cannelloni beans
10-12 cups of water
1 TBSP Kosher salt
1 head of garlic, peeled
1 springs of sage
Rinse beans and cover with water. Soak beans for at least 12 hours.
Rinse beans again. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add beans and remaining ingredients.
Simmer beans in a covered pot for 30 minutes. Open the lid and simmer for another 15-30 minutes until beans a soft, but don't fall apart.
Remove beans from the pot reserving 2 cups of bean water and discard sage with garlic.
1 TBSP olive oil
2 ounces of cubed guanciale or prosciutto or smoked bacon
3 medium or 2 large carrots piled if skin is thick and chopped into small rounds or half rounds
4 cups of cannelloni beans
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil (I use the same pot that I made beans in) and add meat. Lower the heat to medium low and cover the meat letting the fats melt.
Once the fats melted increase the heat and add carrots and saute for 2-3 minutes until carrots are caramelized.
Mix in the beans and saute for another minute or so.
Add reserved bean water and lower the heat to simmer.
Let the stew simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes until the liquid thickens.
If you like heartier stew mash the beans lightly with a potato masher.
Serve with toasted dark bread and good beer.
Recipe for cookies can be found at http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/03/hamantaschen/