The hardest part of this recipe is tracking down the ingredients – very easy in the U.S., a little less so in Italy. The amounts of the various components are flexible – alter the quantities to suit your own taste.
Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C)
4 cans beans – here in Italy we use Borlotti; in the U.S. try canellini, kidney or pink
2 Tbl molasses (melassa in Italian), also available in Italy at specialty stores (Seghezzo in Santa Margherita for instance) as Treacle
1 1/2 Cups chopped onions (about 2)
6 oz. (150 grams) cubed pancetta (in US you can use salt pork or bacon – as long as it’s piggy and salty it will be fine; smoked is better)
3 Tbl. vinegar
2 Tbl. prepared mustard
1 Tbl ground ginger
1/2 Cup rum
1/3 Cup brown sugar
Drain the beans, reserving some liquid. Put everything in a pot, preferably terra cotta, and bake covered in a 350 F (180 C) oven for 1 hour. Uncover and check consistency. If they seem a little dry, add some of the reserved bean liquid. Cook uncovered another 15 or 20 minutes.