Meltingly tender pork and cannellini beans in tomato sauce, served up on crunchy warm garlic toast – real comfort food.
200g/7oz dried cannellini beans, soaked in water overnight
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
800g/1lb 12oz pork spare ribs, chopped into 7.5cm/3in pieces
4 bay leaves
1 sprig rosemary, leaves only
6 fresh sage leaves
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
500g/1lb 2oz passata
handful fresh parsley, finely chopped, to garnish
1 red chilli, finely diced
For the cannellini beans, drain the beans, then put them in a large saucepan with enough water to cover (about 1.8 litres/3¼ pints). Half-cover with a lid and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 50 minutes, or until tender.
Meanwhile, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large, shallow pan. Add the ribs, bay leaves, rosemary, sage, salt and pepper and brown the ribs over a medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove them and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion and garlic to the pan and fry for a couple of minutes to soften them.
Add the tomato passata, 500ml/18fl oz water and some salt and simmer for five minutes.
Return the ribs to the pan and cook on a low heat for about 1½ hours, or until the meat begins to become detached from the bone. Remove the ribs again and keep warm.
Drain the cooked beans and add the passata, then simmer gently for five minutes.
Meanwhile, for the bruschetta, grill the bread, then immediately rub the slices of bread with the garlic and drizzle with a little olive oil.
Remove the beans from the heat and serve with the spare ribs. Garnish with parsley and chilli, and serve with bruschetta.
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James is joined by chefs Paul Rankin and Nigel Haworth, plus actor Bradley Walsh.
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