Parmigiano Reggiano creamed beans

In partnership with Pamigiano Reggiano

I hope you know already the magical combination that is crisp sage, roast winter squash and hazelnuts.I’d now like you to try it on top of a puddle of Parmigiano Reggiano creamed beans. With more of the cheese grated over the top for good measure.

It’s super simple, and super seasonal too. Seasonal in part because of the winter squash – use Onion (also known as red kuri), Crown Prince or Delica pumpkin – but also seasonal in terms of what I suspect you’ll be craving. i.e. something soothing, comforting, cheesy and creamy.

Parmigiano Reggiano, also commonly known as Parmesan, of course, is the good stuff. Always matured for a minimum of 12 months and full of crunchy umami crystals. I’m rarely without a wedge in my fridge. Look for the distinctive dotted rind.

Parmigiano Reggiano is a product with Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O.) status, with distinctive characteristics and links to its area of origin, a small area of northern Italy which includes the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, and parts of Mantua and Bologna. It is in this area that Parmigiano Reggiano is produced using only 3 ingredients – milk, salt, and rennet – and no additives or preservatives.

Look for the distinctive dotted rind to ensure you’re buying the one and only Parmesan (and don’t throw that part away once the cheese is used up – add it to soups to make the most of every last gram of flavour).

More info over at @parmigianoreggianouk.

Parmigiano Reggiano creamed beans with roast winter squash, crisp sage and hazelnuts

Most of the ingredients are in the title! But do add the splashes of vinegar. Might seem counter-intuitive, but makes all the difference.

Serves 4

  • 1kg winter squash – Onion (also known as red kuri), Crown Prince or Delica pumpkin
  • 3 tablespoons cold-pressed rapeseed oil
  • 25g butter
  • 20 sage leaves plus 2 more sprigs
  • 30g toasted hazelnuts, halved
  • 1 c.600g jar cooked white beans
  • 250ml water
  • 100ml single cream
  • 50g grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus a little extra
  • 4 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground black peppercorns
  • Flaky sea salt

Heat the oven to 180C fan.

Halve the squash, scoop out and discard the seeds, then cut the flesh into 2-2.5cm thick wedges. Toss in 2 tablespoons of cold-pressed rapeseed oil, arrange on a baking sheet and roast for 35 minutes, turning the pieces over at 25 minutes so there’s colour on both sides. Add the hazelnuts to the tray at this point too.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small frying pan, add the picked sage leaves and fry until crisp and the butter brown. Set to one side.

When the squash is 10 minutes from being ready, empty the beans and any juices from their jar into a saucepan. Add the water, cream, and sage sprigs, and bring to a steady simmer for 5 minutes or so before adding the Parmigiano Reggiano, 2 teaspoons of vinegar and the ground black pepper.

Combine the remaining vinegar with a tablespoon of oil, a teaspoon of tepid water and a good pinch of salt. Splash over the cooked squash. Then divide the beans between 4 bowls, and everything else on top. Finish with a flourish of grated cheese.