Beans in tomato sauce

Beans in tomato sauce

Fagioli all’uccelleto

By
From
Florentine
Serves
4
Photographer
Lauren Bamford

Artusi calls these ‘fagioli a guisa d’uccellini’, named for the dish that was once prepared during hunting season, which featured little songbirds (uccelletto means ‘little bird’) cooked in very much the same sauce. These beans are a must on Florentine tables, the perfect side dish to accompany hearty steaks or roasts. They are also turned into a meal of their own by adding a couple of pork and fennel Tuscan sausages into the simmering sauce before the beans are added.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a knife
400g whole peeled tomatoes or passata
3-4 sage leaves
500g tinned cannellini beans
or 500g * stewed cannellini beans [rid:32383]

Method

  1. In a large saucepan, infuse the olive oil with the garlic over a low heat until fragrant but not coloured. This should only take a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon if you have used whole ones. Add the sage and about 250 ml of the bean cooking liquid (or cold water if using tinned beans) and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, over a low heat for 10 minutes. Remove the garlic. Add the beans and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

Note

  • If using fresh beans for this recipe, you will need about 500 g of beans in their pods for this. To prepare them, place in a heavy-based flameproof casserole dish with 2.5 litres of water. Bring to a simmer on the lowest heat setting and cook, covered, very gently until the beans are tender, up to 45 minutes.
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