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Braised Romano Beans with Polenta

Braised Romano Beans with Polenta

  • Author: The Yum Yum Factor - Carole Nelson Brown
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Dinner, Comfort Food


I try to use dry beans whenever possible, but let’s be honest – there are days where I need to get dinner on the table ten minutes ago and that is when I reach for a can of beans. I find the best way to make canned beans more flavourful is to simmer them with lots of good olive oil and some broth. Romano beans are grown in Ontario and Manitoba under the moniker of Cranberry Beans or Speckled Sugar Beans and are soft with a sweet, almost nutty flavour, making them perfect for this type of braised dish.

I serve this over polenta that I make in my Instant Pot but feel free to make polenta any way you like or even spoon the beans over thick slices of toasted bread or even mashed potatoes.

Carole Nelson Brown – The Yum Yum Factor



Braised Romano Beans

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped fennel
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 can Romano Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/4 cup to 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 parmesan rind
  • 3 or 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Handful fresh basil, finely sliced
  • Approx 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan

Instant Pot Polenta

  • 1 cup of corn meal
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 1/2 cups of low sodium chicken broth (you can use veg broth or water or a mix of both)
  • 2 tbsp of butter

Soft Poached Eggs

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • Water


Braised Romano Beans

Heat the olive oil in a deep pan. When oil is hot, add the onion and sauté for a minute before you add in the garlic and the fennel and cook for another 5 minutes, until soft.
Stir in the chili flakes and the beans, mix well and then just cover with chicken broth. Push the parmesan rind into the beans and throw in the fresh thyme. Bring to a light simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Before you serve, use a big spoon to mash some of the beans.

Instant Pot Polenta

Stir the polenta, salt and broth together in your pot, cover and set it for 15 minutes at High Pressure. When the 15 minutes are up, let it release steam naturally for 10 minutes before releasing all the steam. Open the pot, add the butter and stir it in with a wooden spoon. At this point, you can also add some cheese or herbs if you like.

Ladle the polenta into shallow bowls, add 1/4 of the beans to each bowl, top with a poached egg, shave some more fresh parmesan and add a pinch of fresh basil to each bowl.

Soft Poached Eggs

Heat water and vinegar in a deep pan or a wide pot – non stick is easiest and you want the water a couple inches deep. Bring the water to a simmer (about 190F if you have a thermometer) and gently crack the eggs into the simmering water. Set your timer for 4 1/2 minutes. When the eggs are done, remove each one to a paper towel lined plate or cutting board, using a slotted spoon. Use the spoon to cut off any straggly bits of white and carefully lift off the paper towel onto the beans.

Keywords: romano beans