For the White Bean Ragout:
For the Garlic Toast:
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell peppers and season with salt and pepper. Simmer slowly, stirring often, until vegetables are completely softened, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add finely grated garlic and cook for a minute until fragrant. Push aside the vegetable mixture, add and tomato paste and cook, stirring often, until tomato paste begins to turn deep red, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in 3 cups broth; bring to a boil. Simmer briskly, scraping up browned bits, until liquid is slightly thickened, three to four minutes. Add tomatoes simmer until tomatoes are tender, another three to four minutes. Add the beans and heat through. Stir in two tablespoons Parmesan. Add in the vinegar. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. If you’d like a thicker sauce, mash a few of the beans and gently stir.
If desired, divide bread among shallow bowls. Top with some bean mixture and broth. Garnish with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan and parsley. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Alternatively, serve the toasts on the side.
To make the recipe with Sofrito:
To use sofrito instead of the 1/4 cup of olive oil (you’ll still drizzle the dish when finished with the tablespoon of olive oil) and onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, salt and pepper, garlic and tomato paste in the recipe, use sofrito instead and skip the first paragraph of instructions.
Instead, add about two tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet or Dutch oven. Add one cup of sofrito and heat through over low heat. Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook several minutes, allowing some of the Sofrito to color just a bit. Proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Meanwhile, as the recipe simmers, make garlic toasts. Rub 1″ slices of bread with a crushed garlic clove. Using a brush, spread with a little olive oil. Preheat broiler and broil several inches away from flame for several minutes until browned. This is best done on a rack so the bottoms of the bread stay dry.
Timing of 45 minutes is with sauteing the vegetables; this is considerably quicker if using a sofrito; the timing does not include cooking the beans if not buying in a can.
Keywords: Bargain Meal of the Week, Beans, Bell Peppers, Bon Appetit, Cherry Tomatoes, Chicken Stock, complete skillet meal, Dried Beans, Italian, Sofrito, Tomatoes, Vegetarian Meal