** 1/2 pound dried cannelini/northern beans
2 bacon slices
1.5 pounds lean boneless pork chops, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 pound reduced-fat or turkey smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups chopped onion
—– 1c carrot (optional)
—– 1c celery (optional)
—– 1c red bell pepper (optional)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 cup dry white wine
** 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained $
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 teaspoons finely shredded fresh Parmesan cheese (optional)
8 teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
** If using canned, instead of dry beans, use 2 15-ounce cans of beans (drained and rinsed) and omit chicken broth.
Soak beans overnight.
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add onion, (optional carrot), (optional celery), thyme, rosemary, and garlic to drippings in pan; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add wine, let simmer 1 minute. Stir in crumbled bacon, salt, pepper, (optional red bell pepper), and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
Combine beans, pork, and sausage; stir well. Place half of bean mixture in a 3 1/2-quart electric slow cooker; top with half of tomato mixture. Repeat layers. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours. Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley.