It is presumptuous to name this dish after the classic French preparation that can take three days to make. However, this rapid-fire version tips its hat to the original.
- Dice large onion and cloves of garlic. Cook these together until soft in a quarter cup of olive oil
- Add carrot, if you have it, bacon cut into large pieces, some cavolo nero or cale leaves if you have them in the garden. Cook until the bacon is beginning to crisp.
- Add cannellini beans and their liquid. tomatoes.
- Season well with salt and pepper. Add bay leaf if you have one, or some thyme sprigs. Transfer this to a casserole dish. Top up with stock or water to just cover the contents.
- Pulse 4 stale bread slices to make coarse crumbs. Add olive oil and pulse again.
- Mound this over the top of the casserole contents and bake for 1 hour in a medium oven. The top should form a crust with the liquids starting to bubble up through.
- Scatter with chopped parsley, serve with crusty bread and a glass of red.
- If you happen to have good sausages, fresh chicken drumsticks or thighs, diced pork or even duck confit in your fridge, any or all of these can be added at the stage you add the bacon.