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This is a dish from the Eastern seaboard of America, where the pork and beans are traditionally simmered slowly in an earthenware casserole dish. Baked jacket potatoes or crusty bread are perfect for soaking up the delicious sauce.
*Haricot beans are also known as navy beans. If you can't find them, you can use dried cannellini beans instead.
*Instead of soaking and cooking dried beans, you can save time by adding 1 can cannellini beans (about 400 g), drained and rinsed, at the beginning of step 3.
*Tuscan-style beans with sausages: Use 500 g good-quality sausages, cut into bite-sized pieces, instead of the pork. Brown the sausages with the onion in a deep, non-stick frying pan; set aside. Pour off fat from the pan (do not add fat), then add ½ cup (125 ml) red wine, 200 ml vegetable stock, preferably homemade, 1 can chopped tomatoes (about 400 g), 8 chopped fresh sage leaves, 2 bay leaves, 2 crushed garlic cloves and pepper to taste. Cook uncovered over a low heat for 30 minutes. Add the sausages and onion together with 1 can cannellini beans (about 400 g), drained and rinsed, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, a carotenoid compound and a valuable anti-oxidant that is thought to protect against prostate, bladder and pancreatic cancers. Lycopene is enhanced by cooking and so is most readily available in processed tomato products, such as canned tomatoes, tomato paste, puréed tomatoes and tomato sauce.
GI estimate low.