1 lb. large Romano beans, stems snapped
1 heaping tablespoon of soffrito (minced onion, carrot, celery- 2:1:1- sautéed until tender and golden. Make a lot of it and storein the freezer) – OR – 1/4 of a brown onion minced
1 large garlic clove, germed and minced
2 tablespoons fruity olive oil
1/2 tablespoon bacon fat, optional
1/3 cup water or white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
In a pot just large enough to hold the beans that has a tight fitting lid, warm the oil over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the soffrito and heat through. Add the garlic and gently cook until softened and aromatic.
If using, add the bacon fat now. (Pork and beans have a history, for good reason. They go so well together. For a vegetarian version that will maintain this flavor, substitute 1 teaspoon of Spanish smoked paprika, AKA pimenton de la vera and a little extra olive oil.)
Add the beans; toss to spread the aromatics around. Add the liquid and put the top on the pot.
When the liquid starts to steam, lower the heat as low as it will go. Cook like this for 1 hour, occasionally rattling the pot to stir it around. Check after a half hour to ensure there is still a little liquid in the pan. Cook until the beans are meltingly soft, but still holding their shape. Season with a little salt and pepper and serve.