Favata Preparation: medium
Prep: 30 - Cook: 2:40
Fresh fennel and Savoy cabbage add flavor to this dish.
1 1/2 pounds dried fava, Windsor, lima or butter beans
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 pound spare ribs, in one piece
1 pound small Italian pork sausages
1/2 pound lean bacon, in one piece
1/2 head savoy cabbage, shredded
2 - 3 bulbs fennel with leaves, chopped
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped (1 small tin Italian tomatoes)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
slices of fried bread
grated Parmesan cheese
Large, covered pot or casserole.
SOAK the beans overnight if possible, or for at least 12 hours.
HEAT the oil in a large pan or heatproof casserole, and fry the pork and sausages. When the pork is well browned, add the drained beans and enough hot water to cover generously. Add the bacon and the prepared vegetables. Check seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste; and continue cooking slowly for about 2 hours. Add a little more water (to cover) from time to time if necessary, but never too much as the sauce should be thick.
WHEN the meat is tender, almost to the point of being over- cooked by usual standards, first take out the pork and divide it into ribs. Then lift out the bacon and cut it into small pieces. Return both to the pan and reheat.
SERVE the stew very hot, accompanied by slices of crisply fried (or toasted) bread and plenty of grated Parmesan cheese.