Beans and pork with rice

Beans and pork with rice


Laura Edwards

Vercelli and Novara, two cities in Piedmont, are where this dish is a speciality. It is very pleasant, designed to satisfy the hunger of working people. It used to be made with locally produced ingredients – the pork and beans best from Saluggia, and the rice from the Po Valley. Preferably you should use cooking sausages, ones for boiling, as they need to cook for a long time in this recipe.


Quantity Ingredient
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
6 pure pork, semi-dry italian sausages, skins removed
300g dried saluggia or borlotti beans, soaked in water for 24 hours and then drained
1.5 litres good chicken or vegetable stock
300g carnaroli or arborio risotto rice
freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated parmesan, to serve


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the sausages and brown them on each side.
  2. Drain the soaked beans, add to the sausage pan, and cover everything with water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer for 1½ hours. Add more water if necessary during this time. When cooked, drain.
  3. Put the stock in a suitable pot on the stove, next to where you are working, and keep it hot.
  4. Now stir the rice into the beans pan, and work as for a risotto, adding hot boiling stock, a ladle at a time, as the previous ladleful is absorbed. Cook until the rice is al dente – probably about 15–20 minutes. It should not be too wet.
  5. Cut the sausages into pieces and return to the rice and beans. Season to taste, and serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan.
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