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YIELDS:

2-4 servings

PREP TIME:

0 hours 10 mins

COOK TIME:

0 hours 5 mins

TOTAL TIME:

0 hours 30 mins

ingredients

1 Tbsp. Olive oil

1/2 Onion, chopped

2 Garlic cloves, finely minced

2 Tbsp. Tomato paste

2 Tbsp. White wine

1 14 Oz. Can petite cut tomatoes

1 Can Cannellini beans, rinsed

1/2 Tbsp. Dried oregano

1/2 Tbsp. Dried basil

Pinch of Calabrian chili flakes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbsp. Pine nuts

1 Tbsp. Fresh chives, chopped

1/4 Cup low fat ricotta cheese

1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated and divided

1/4 Cup Fontina cheese, grated or two mini fontina bites each sliced into three rounds

1 Small baguette, sliced and toasted

1 Lg. Garlic clove, cut in half

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil then add the onion and sauté for about 3 minutes until the onion is translucent and fragrant Add garlic and cook one minute. Add the paste and stir for about two minutes until incorporated into mix.

2. Add the white wine and bring to a simmer.  Let cook a couple of minutes to let mixture slightly thicken.  Then, add the tomatoes, beans, basil, oregano, chili flakes (Just a pinch unless you like heat. If you do, add more.) Start with a pinch of salt and a few grounds of black pepper. Add the pine nuts and stir everything together.  Taste.  If it needs more salt, pepper or hot pepper, add.

3. Bring the mixture to a low simmer over medium low heat and let cook for about 20-25 minutes to thicken and cook down. Stir occasionally.
4. Meanwhile, mix half the parmesan with the ricotta cheese. Add a couple of grinds of black pepper.
5. Preheat the broiler and slice the baguette and toast it on both sides. When they come out of the oven, rub the cut side of the garlic clove over the bread to lightly flavor. Put the bread to the side.
6. Stir the cheese mix into the bean mixture and turn off the heat.
7. Using individual crocks, add the bean and cheese mixture to the top of the crocks. Sprinkle the tops with the rest of the parmesan and the fontina cheeses. Put on a baking sheet under the broiler for a minute or two until the cheese is melted and brown in spots…bubbling is good!

8. Serve each crock on an individual plate, with some chopped chives and the sliced garlic baguette slices on the side. Enjoy.

NOTE: I saw this recipe in an Eating Well magazine and thought it was a great idea.  I made some changes to the recipe to make a smaller batch and to serve it in individual portions.  I also made changes like adding the pine nuts (Don’t they make everything better?) and added a little heat but they were the total inspiration for this dish.

I like integrating meatless meals into my rotation and this just seemed like a great riff on a baked Italian dish… and it was.  I made it, ate it and loved it!  I made it again and just used mozzarella instead of the Fontina and that worked great too.

You could easily make this in one pan and serve it family style, but I was looking for some portion control and the ability to make this dish up to the “put under the broiler step” and then do the final cook later.  Talk about easy!

So, you can make this whole dish up to and including adding the parmesan and ricotta to the bean mixture on the stove, then let is cool and refrigerate until ready to eat at a later time.  Then, when you want to serve, just put into your serving crocks, top with cheese and put in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes to heat through.  Then, place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes to completely melt and brown the top cheese and enjoy.  A great make ahead, comfort meal for sure.  If you like this, be sure to check out my Healthier Choices page for recipe ideas.  Then, sign up for newsletters to get recipes sent right to your inbox.

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