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Agrigento, Sicily, Italy

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Angela's Italian and Sicilian Recipes
Bruschetta with White Beans and Cheese
Bruschetta with White Beans and Cheese
(Bruschetta con Fagioli e Formaggio)

1 cup dried cannellini (white kidney beans) or Great Northern beans, picked over

2 celery stalks, halved
2 carrots, halved
2 onions, halved
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 whole cloves
1 bay leaf

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 3 ounces)
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese (about 3 ounces)
4 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried
Six 1/2-inch thick slices from large crusty round loaf of white bread
3 garlic cloves, halved 

Place beans in large saucepan.

Add enough water to cover beans by 2 inches.
Bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes.

Remove saucepan from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour.

Drain beans.

Return beans to same saucepan.

Add celery stalks, carrots, onions, pepper, cloves and bay leaf.

Add enough water to cover by 2 inches.
Bring to boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until beans are tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. (Beans and vegetables can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Drain beans, reserving 1/3 cup cooking liquid.

Discard vegetables, cloves and bay leaf.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add minced garlic and saute 30 seconds.

Add 2 cups beans (reserve remaining beans for another use), both cheeses, 3 tablespoons parsley, 2 tablespoons butter, rosemary, sage and reserved 1/3 cup cooking liquid.

Stir until cheeses and butter melt, whisking constantly and mashing come of beans to form thick chunky sauce.

Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat broiler.

Arrange bread on large baking sheet.

Brush top of each bread slice with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Rub with cut side of garlic clove halves.

Broil bread until lightly toasted. Transfer bread to plates.

Spoon bean mixture atop bread.

Sprinkle with remaining parsley. Makes 6 appetizer servings.
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