Pork and beans is and classic, down-home and family friendly recipe. It became popular in the early 1800’s, feeding everyone from city folk to cowboys blazing trails in the Southwest. Few dishes have as rich of a history in our culture like pork and beans. This recipe is a fun, Italian take on the traditional recipe.

Usually, pork and beans from a can include pork with a high fat content. The canned pork and beans variety will also contain a high sugar tomato sauce and other additional sweeteners to make the mixture more viscous and flavorful. This recipe throws all of those unhealthy additives right out the window. It’s time to make a healthier version that still stays true to the delicious flavors  you all know and love.

All of the ingredients in this recipe should be cooked fresh from the store or market for the best flavor results. This healthy alternative to canned pork and beans is packed full of veggies and hearty pork. Randall’s Great Northern Beans hold all the other ingredients together since the beans serve as a filling base and take on much of the red sauce flavors when cooked. Don’t forget to add the tasty battuto paste to kick this bean dish up a notch! Toss out those cans of pork and beans and keep this recipe in your Rolodex from now on!


  • 1/2 pound pork (or ham) rind
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups peeled plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 1/2 cups of Randall Great Northern Beans


  • 2 slices lean salt pork
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Cut the pork (or ham) rind into 1″ x 2″ pieces. Put them in a pot with at least 2 quarts of water, and boil, covered, for at least 1 hour, or until tender.

Make a battuto by putting the slices of salt pork on a chopping board. Top them with the onion, garlic, and celery, and chop, then mince until the pile has turned to a paste. Sauté in olive oil in a large stewpot until golden. Add the plum tomatoes, the liquid in the beans, salt and pepper to taste, and the tender pork (or ham) rind. Cook for 30 minutes, to reduce the sauce and blend its flavor.

Add the Randall Beans, heat through, taste for salt, and adjust the seasonings if necessary.

Serve hot.