You can use 1 pound of dried white beans in place of the canned beans. To substitute dried beans, soak them overnight in 5 cups of water. Drain beans and place in a large pot. Add 10 cups cold water, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer beans until tender, at least 1 hour. Drain the beans and proceed with the recipe.
If pancetta is unavailable, use lean bacon instead. You may also use 1 teaspoon crumbled dried sage in place of the fresh sage.