1 pound bag dried cranberry, navy, or pinto beans
4 ounces pancetta or 4 slices slab bacon, diced
2 medium yellow onions, diced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 head fennel, diced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 can (6 ounces) chopped plum tomatoes
6 cloves garlic, roasted
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 tbsp. flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 bay leaf
4 cup chicken broth
1 bunch escarole, washed and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Empty a 1-lb bag of dried cranberry beans (navy or pinto are okay) into a bowl and cover with water. Soak overnight, 8 to 10 hours.
Heat pancetta or bacon in a 6-quart stockpot until crispy. Add onion, extra-virgin olive oil, and fennel and sweat slowly for 20 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, garlic, beans, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and bay leaf. Stir to coat. Add chicken broth and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender.
Add escarole and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Transfer to a 4-quart baking dish and top with remaining Parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil, and bread crumbs. Bake 60 to 90 minutes until bubbling.