Beans with Crispy Prosciutto, Sage, Pecorino & Olive Oil

Beans with Crispy Prosciutto, <a href=heart Sage, hospital Pecorino & Olive Oil” />

I wasn’t going to post this recipe. This was supposed to be a super simple, bronchitis healthy weeknight dinner. Not interesting enough to deserve a whole post. But then I tasted it and knew I had to share. These beans are deceptively easy and mind-blowingly delicious. There’s something hearty and earthy about the combination of beans and smoky, salty, crisp-like-bacon prosciutto. Add a little fresh sage, Pecorino and fancy olive oil and you’ve got a quick and tasty dinner.

I used Rancho Gordo’s Black Calypso beans and grabbed the recipe idea from their site. You can substitute dried Anasazi beans, or even canned great northern beans if you’re not up to cooking dried beans. Either way, these beans are definitely worth a try.

And now it’s time for some shameless self-promotion. As you know, the Ile de France cheese company, sent me some goat cheese to blog about awhile back and I submitted my tartlets to their recipe contest. Well, it’s time to vote! Help a girl out and head on over to the contest page.

Beans with Crispy Prosciutto, Sage, Pecorino & Olive Oil

1 lb. dried Black Calypso (or Anasazi) beans
(Or two 15 oz. cans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed)
6 cups (more or less) water (if using dried beans)

5 dried chile de arbol peppers (if using dried beans)
1 tbsp. coarse salt (if using dried beans)

10 slices prosciutto
20 sage leaves, thinly sliced
2 oz. Pecorino cheese, grated
6 tbsp. good-quality olive oil

Cook the beans (if using canned beans, skip to the next paragraph). Soak them overnight in the water, then add the chile de arbol peppers and bring to a low simmer for 2 – 3 hours, or until the beans are tender. Pick out the chile de arbol peppers and stir in the salt.

While the beans are cooking, crisp your prosciutto. Lay the slices out on a piece of parchment paper and place them under the broiler for 5 – 8 minutes, or until the prosciutto crisps to the consistency of bacon. I like mine almost-burnt, but make sure you watch them closely or they’ll get too burnt and smoky. Remove from oven, let cool, then use your hands or kitchen scissors to crumble into bite-sized pieces.

Serve the beans in bowls and top with the crumbled prosciutto, a big pinch of sage leaves, a big pinch of pecorino and a good drizzle of olive oil.

Makes 6 servings.


  1. This sounds really tasty!

  2. Sounds perfect for a light dinner.

    I’m curious about the Rancho Gordo beans. Are they really better than regular (good-brand) dried beans. I keep wanting to order them but can’t decide.


  3. I have some Rancho Gordo beans in my cupboard, so this may make it to my table as well. I have to say, I have not felt that they were mindblowing. Good, but not really change-your-life good. Perhaps I would feel better about them if I had a slow cooker and didnt have to sit around waiting for beans to soften…

  4. Great idea using Beans… they are so healthy and full of protein…and adding they way did is very creative… thank for sharing this great Bean recipe..


  5. This sounds so tasty, and I love any recipe this easy and complex at the same time. Easy method, easy preperation, but complex, layered flavors. I have all of the ingredients on hand already (well, canned beans for me) and that makes it a must-do for dinner tonight.

  6. RG Beans are the absolute best aren’t they?

    This is an excellent way of preparing the Black Calyso beans. I have to try this.

  7. robin – i LOVE the Rancho Gordo beans. They taste a lot fresher, more flavorful and are (pardon the expression) fleshier than the regular store-bought. I can also get greater variety, like the black calypso. That said, I think you can still get good, quality beans at Whole Foods or The Fresh Market (or any other good local foodie store).

    Maggie – Yeah, they’re best when cooked on lazy Sundays :)

    Thanks everyone!

  8. Sounds good, fresh and a bit rustic and fall-like. I love it.

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