I love Baked Beans; in fact I heart Baked Beans. I am not sure why though? Maybe it is because they look so much like our humble “Rajma” (Kidney Beans cooked in a Tomato Gravy). Or the fact that Baked Beans is the only Breakfast I can eat if I go out and have breakfast here in Perth. Because let’s face it Australia’s favorite Breakfast is Eggs. Every restaurant you go to serves Eggs in one form or another. And being allergic to Eggs my choices become very limited, unless of course I want to stuff myself with lots of Bacon or Mushrooms (which I don’t mind at all).
While I was in India eating Breakfast out was never an issue as there were so many vegetarian options and the choices were unlimited. But now I don’t have many choices unless I am cooking myself, so I rarely have breakfast in restaurants.
Unfortunately not all restaurants take their Baked Beans very seriously. I have eaten some dodgy Baked beans in some places that include the tinned version, which if we are honest is the saddest thing we can ever eat. Beans smothered to death in a sweet tomato sauce is not my version of a good hearty breakfast.
This recipe for “Baked Beans with Prosciutto and Bocconcini Cheese” is my version of authentic home made beans with ingredients not overloaded with Sugar and tastes better than the stuff you will get out of a can. Trust me you will thank me for this.
Recipe (Cooking time 25 minutes, serves 2- 3)
2 cans of organic Cannelloni or Butter Beans (400 gms each)
2 juicy ripe Tomatoes finely chopped
2 cloves of Garlic finely chopped
140 gms Tomato paste (I used the Leggo’s brand one with Garlic and Herbs, but you can use plain Tomato paste)
2 – 3 slices of Prosciutto or rindless Bacon coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp smoked Paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 small red chillies finely chopped
2 tsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Capers (optional but I love the taste they impart)
Bocconcini/Mozzarella Cheese as per your level of cheesiness.
1 tbsp freshly chopped Parsley
Drain the beans in a colander and gently run them under cold water for a minute or so and leave them aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped Garlic, chillies & Prosciutto or Bacon and fry on a medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes.
Add the Capers and cook for 2 – 3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and Tomato paste. Cover and cook on a medium flame till the Tomatoes get all mushy and start leaving the side of the pan.
Add the Beans, Smoked Paprika, freshly ground Pepper and a little bit of Salt. Be careful while adding salt as the Prosciutto is quiet Salty in itself.
Sprinkle a little bit of the Parsley and cook for 5 – 7 minutes.
Preheat oven to 170 Degrees C.
Place the Beans in small ovenproof bowls or ceramic dishes. Top up the Cheese and sprinkle and bake for 7 – 10 minutes or until the Cheese starts to bubble over. Sprinkle some more Parsley before you serve.
Serve hot with toasted bread and enjoy this delicious treat.
Tip: If you want the vegetarian version then you can skip the Prosciutto or Bacon.
For a slightly different twist add Goats Cheese or Feta Cheese which will give an entirely different taste.