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Some people have photographic memories, able to give you play by play of an event or evening. While others remember locations and conversations, though slightly skewed, but with all the important details intact. I remember food- my first veggie pizza in Kindergarten, feta cheese in Washington D.C., pesto in Genoa, and Navy Bean spread in Pittsburgh.
It was years ago and completely on accident. We had reservations that the restaurant could not find, sending us to the street, searching for our supper. We happened upon a tiny new Italian restaurant, eager for customers. We were a perfect fit. I don’t recall much about the dinner or the event, but I do remember the Navy Bean spread. It was creamy and almost buttery, with a warmth from the Rosemary. It was drizzled with a balsamic reduction and served with warm, crusty bread. It was heaven.
I spent years trying to perfect this recipe. It wasn’t until my next important food memory- the discovery of Papa Vince EVOO years later- that I was finally able to create something as delicious. I still recall standing in the middle of the Bloomfield Little Italy days, trying Papa Vince for the first time. Its bright flavor, thick texture, and my favorite part, the “kick” at the end. I was obsessed immediately and the rest is history. Well, history and dozens of recipes later...
This Navy Bean spread is easy enough to whip up for a quick snack or a delicious appetizer before a meal. Serve it with warm, crusty bread or sliced carrots and peppers.