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Beans stew with Swiss chard, guanciale & Parmigiano Raggiano

Beans stew with Swiss chard, guanciale & Parmigiano Raggiano



Today we're diving into a classic Italian dish that's not only hearty and flavorful but also packed with nutrients: Beans Stew with Swiss Chard and Parmigiano Reggiano.

In Chef Luca's kitchen, this dish isn't just about filling your belly; it's a celebration of history and tradition. Beans have long been the food of the people, especially in times when meat was a luxury reserved for the privileged few. Back then, farmers relied on beans as a staple because of their affordability and impressive nutritional profile.

Fast forward to today, and we've uncovered the true power of beans. These little legumes are not just for stretching your budget; they're bona fide superfoods! Loaded with fiber, antioxidants, and plant-based protein, beans are champions for heart health, digestion, and even weight loss. And let's not forget, they're downright delicious.

In Italy, beans reign supreme, with Tuscany boasting perhaps the most famous bean dish of all: "Ribollita." This rustic soup, meaning "reboiled," was a clever invention of farmers who made big batches to sustain them through the week, reheating it multiple times for maximum flavor.

But Chef Luca's twist on the classic takes things up a notch. By starting with dried beans and infusing them with the rich flavors of lardo and guanciale (Italian cured meats), he transforms a simple stew into a symphony of taste and texture.


Difficulty: Medium

Time of Preparation: 12-14 hours ( beans need to soak over night)

Time of Cooking:  2 hours

Doses for: 4 people



1 large onion

2 carrots

4 celery stalks with leaves

6 garlic cloves

3 bay leaves

8 sage leaves

2 x ¼ inch slices Lardo Terra di Siena

¼ cup tomato paste

1 cup corona beans

1 cup borlotti beans

1 cup cannellini beans

1 lbs Swiss chard

24 oz beef or chicken stock

2 x ½ inch slices of guanciale

1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano

Extra Virgin Olive oil Umbria


Black pepper


1. Begin by soaking the beans overnight in separate containers filled with cold water. This step is crucial as it helps to soften the beans and reduce their cooking time. Be sure to keep the containers at room temperature throughout the soaking process.

2.Strain all the beans and place in 3 different sauce pots. Cover them completely (and some more) with water. Add one peeled garlic clove and one bay leaf per pot. Turn on the heat and bring to a boil and then simmer on medium heat.

  • Corona beans: Simmer for approximately 1 hour.
  • Borlotti beans: Simmer for about 45 minutes.
  • Cannellini beans: Simmer for around 30 minutes.

3 Add a pinch of salt to each pot only 5 minutes before they're done cooking.

4. Before straining the beans, be sure to taste them. They should be soft on the outside but still have a slight bite in the middle for the perfect al dente texture.

5. Prepare your soffritto with diced onions, carrots and celery.

6. In a large saucepan, add a generous drizzle of olive oil and cook the soffritto on medium heat for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as soon as you add the soffritto to the pan.

7. Cut two x ¼ inch thick slices of lardo, then cut in smaller strips and the chop them in a small dice. Roughly chop the sage. Peel and cut the garlic in thin slices. Put the garlic and sage on top of the lardo and chop everything together.

8. Add the chopped lardo, garlic, sage to the pan. Cook or 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste.

9.Cut the steams of the Swiss chard from the leaves. Chop the steams in a small dice and add them to the pan. Cook for 10 minutes.

10.Once the beans are cooked, go ahead and strain them, then add them to the pan.

11.Mix everything.

12.Bring the stock to a boil and add half of it to the pan.

13.Add the chopped Swiss chard leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Add the rest of the stock and cover. Cook for 10 minutes on medium low heat.

14.In the meantime, cut two x ½ inch slices of guanciale, then cut it in smaller strips.

15.Place it in a cold sauté pan and cook on low heat to render the fat and get the guanciale crispy.

16.Remove the cover from the beans, mix the Swiss chard with the rest and taste for seasoning. When ready turn off the heat. Add a generous drizzle of EVOO.

17.Serve in separate bowl. Garnish with a generous amount of Parmigiano Reggiano and the crispy guanciale.


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