What a hearty and warming stew. I like the salted pork belly, love it actually... But if you wanted this to be vegetarian, you could obviously omit the pork and substitute vegetable broth as well. They're incredibly easy swaps to make. I also (not pictured above) added a little bit of heavy whipping cream at the end to add another layer of flavor. I recommend it for your taste buds, but if you would like a slimmer stew, it can be come a take it or leave it kind of ingredient. Although personally, I'll take it. It is also an incredibly nutritionally dense stew. Hearty tomatoes and carrots, creamy cannellini beans and a warming flavorful broth... It is a hearty winter home run!
3/4 lbs salted pork belly (or pork jowl bacon)
1 yellow onion
10 cloves of garlic
1 lbs of carrots
1 can of crushed tomatoes
1 can of diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 can chicken broth
2 cans cannellini beans
1 cup dry ditalini noodles
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp oregano
1/4- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream- optional
1. Dice the pork belly into small cubes; less than a 1/4". Add them to your Dutch Oven, and cook on a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-8 minutes.
2. Dice the onions and mince the garlic. When the pork has rendered a decent amount of fat, add the onions and garlic. (If you are forgoing the pork belly, you can just use a tbsp of olive oil to cook the onions and garlic in.)
3. As your onions and garlic are cooking in the fat (8-10 minutes, making sure to stir them every 1-2 minutes so that they do not burn), go ahead and peel and slice the carrots. You should slice the carrots and add them to the pot. Go ahead and make these 1/4-1/2 inch thick.
4. Cook the onions, carrots, garlic and pork for another 5-8 minutes and continue to stir so that nothing burns.
5. Add the chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, fire roasted tomatoes and cannellini beans. Stir all of the ingredients together.
6. In a separate pot, bring water to a boil and cook the ditaneli noodles al dente, according to instructions. Drain them and set aside.
7. Add all of the spices to your Dutch Oven and stir. Allow this mixture to cook together for 15-20 minutes, lid off, so that excess liquids can steam off.
8. Add the cooked noodles and stir the ingredients together again.
9. If you want to add the heavy whipping cream (and I did) go ahead and do it at this point, and wait for it... Stir everything together again. ;)
Serve with some toasty bread and enjoy!