This is a simple dish is quintessentially Northern Italian: a rustic savoury bean stew served with lovely, cooked polenta. The name comes from a Trentino dialect term, bronson, which refers to the traditional bronze spherical shaped pan—it is traditional in Trentino for cooking beans.

  Time: 45 minutes
  Difficulty: moderate
  Serves: 4


  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 celery stick, chopped

  • 2-3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

  • 1 yellow carrot, chopped

  • olive oil, as needed

  • 2 bay leaves

  • a few leaves of sage and a sprig of rosemary to taste

  • 2 highly seasoned sausages, such as chicken, turkey, or any meat (optional) , cut into bite sized pieces

  • wine or stock, as needed

  • 500 g canned borlotti beans, drained but with the liquid reserved

  • 2 tomatoes, diced

  • salt and extra virgin olive oil to taste

  • 200 g polenta

  • salt to taste

  • water as needed


Sauté the onion, celery, garlic and carrot in a little olive oil, then add the beans, keeping them moist with a little wine or stock. Add the reserved canning liquid from the beans, the tomatoes, the bay leaf, sage, rosemary and sausages (if using), letting them simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile,cook the polenta as you normally do, or according to package instructions.

When the polenta is  soft and cooked through, serve a portion of polenta, with the bean stew ladled over or next to it.