In the past beans were the protein of the poor. Beans were cooked in many ways, accompanied by various ingredients according to the seasons. They were planted in the garden of the house and were the daily dish of peasants.
This recipe uses “cannellini beans”, a variety grown in Tuscany and Umbria. They have a very delicate flavor that works well for dishes with fish. The bean’s skin is rather thin and they are a creamy white color.
This recipe reworks an ancient Tuscan dish: “Fagioli all’Uccelletto”.
Preparation: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes
½ pound of dried canellini beans
5 sage leaves
½ cup of organic tomato sauce
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion
½ teaspoon baking soda
chili powder (optional)
- The night before you make this recipe, soak the beans in cold water (the water should completely cover the beans).
- When you begin cooking, pour the drained beans into a deep pot and add cold water (enough to cover them up completely) then add the sage leaves and a pinch of baking soda (this helps soften the beans), and boil for 1 hour.
- When the beans are cooked, pour them into a pan that contains the finely chopped onion, olive oil, and if desired, a pinch of chili powder. Slowly saute the onion until it is transparent. Pour in the tomato sauce and let the season for two minutes. Add the beans with ⅓ of the cooking liquid. Cook slowly and try to heat up the beans without mixing them. They are ready when the cooking water has almost evaporated.
Serve hot in bowls.