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Lima beans Italian style Add to ...

Serve as a side dish with sautéed spicy pork or combine with pasta for a main course. I sometimes process them into a purée and serve as a side with meat or chicken. You can use fava or broad beans too.

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  • Preparation time: 1 hour 15 minutes including soaking time
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Ready time: 2½ hours
  • Servings: Six


2 cups dried large lima or broad beans

1 lemon cut in quarters

4 cloves garlic, unpeeled

1 onion cut in quarters

1 bay leave

1 teaspoon dried thyme

¼ cup olive oil

1 cup chopped onions

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon seeded chopped red chili pepper

2 ounces (60 grams) prosciutto, diced

2 tablespoons chopped parsley


Cover lima beans with water by 2 inches in a pot. Bring to boil over high heat. Boil for 2 minutes then remove from heat, cover and let sit for one hour. Drain well and rinse beans.

Place beans back into pot; add lemon, garlic, onion, bay leaves and thyme. Cover with water by an inch and bring to boil. Cover pot, reduce heat and simmer beans until tender, about 1 hour. Drain beans, reserving liquid, and discard flavourings except for garlic cloves.

Heat oil in sauté pan on medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Add garlic, chili and prosciutto and sauté until onions are quite soft, another 5 minutes. Add beans and toss in oil and flavourings. Add 1½ cups reserved bean cooking liquid and reserved whole garlic cloves (peeled).

Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 5 minutes or until beans have a thick sauce. Season well with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley.

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