What’s Cooking Wednesday: Cannellini Beans & Tomatoes

Home of What’s Cooking WednesdayThis week’s What’s Cooking Wednesday came about as a “What do we already have in the house?” dish.

We had some cannellini beans that P’s mom had prepared for us (they were already soaked and cooked), and although we usually pair them with chicory, we wanted something different.

So I searched the Internet and found this recipe for the traditional Florentine Fagioli all’Uccelletto, which calls for just tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and sage in addition to the beans. Since I didn’t have any sage, I used basil instead.

And it was delicious.

In fact, this has quickly become a staple for us–so quick and easy, and it sticks to your ribs too, especially when you pair it with fresh bread.

If you want to use dry beans, please see instructions here for soaking and cooking before you add them. I tend to use canned beans because they keep their consistency a little better when mixed with tomatoes in particular.

Cannellini Beans & Tomatoes

Beans, tomatoes, garlic, and basil on Flickr

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 3 small cloves of garlic, each cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon of dry basil or a few leaves of fresh basil (adjust to taste)
  • 2 (400 g) cans cannellini beans
  • salt to taste

1. In medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.

2. Add tomatoes, garlic, basil, and a bit of salt, and let cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon. You essentially want this to become a chunky sauce. Note that if you’re really against tomato skins in this, parboil the tomatoes first and remove the skins before adding them to the pan.

3. Stir in beans and let cook for another 10 minutes or so. Remember that the beans really only need to be heated through, so be sure the tomatoes are cooked to your liking before adding the beans; otherwise you’ll end up cooking the beans too long, and they’ll get mushy.

4. Adjust for salt and serve hot with crusty bread.

Buon appetito!

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20 Beans of Wisdom to “What’s Cooking Wednesday: Cannellini Beans & Tomatoes”
  1. 04.23.2008

    Looks scrumptious!

    And *so* easy Nino :)

    [Reply]

  2. Yum, this is one of my staples as well. it’s so easy and good. I use the canned beans too.

    nyc/caribbean ragazza’s last blog post..Randomissimo – Walker, Texas Ranger dubbed

    Would be great with some pancetta too, no? Kinda sorta like Italian baked beans on the stove ;)

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  3. 04.23.2008

    The Umbrian version of fagioli agli uccelletti is no tomatoes and several herbs. Yummers, too. I start from dried because they are like 25% of the price of canned! I don’t really care if they look perfect, but the less they move around, the less broken they’ll be.

    Judith in Umbria’s last blog post..Pate à Choux– the gate to French Paradise

    Yes the dry are definitely cheaper, but for how often (or how infrequently) we eat them–and how often I decide at the last minute that this is what we’re eating–we go with cans usually. Unless P’s mom has prepared them of course ;)

    That’s interesting about the Umbrian version–goes to show you that Umbria and Tuscany really *are* different places ;)

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  4. 04.23.2008

    That would be great camping food.

    running42k’s last blog post..Obama

    Absolutely! P is fascinated by all those Westerns that show guys eating beans from cans over the fire….

    [Reply]

  5. 04.23.2008

    Looks so easy. And delish. I love to use canned beans. Cannellini and Ceci are my favorites. I love the pancetta idea too ;)

    My Melange’s last blog post..Earth Day 2008

    Really, it doesn’t get much easier than this Robin :)

    [Reply]

  6. 04.23.2008

    Yum, they look so good. I usually add pancetta, like you say, the flavour blends in really well.

    My fav is the Umbrian version, as Judith says, it has no tomatoes and is cooked with stock, flavoured with pancetta and rosemary and served with lots of olive oil drizzled on top. Because I am usually too lazy to soak anything I have trained myself to make a passable version with canned beans and good stock cubes, purists may disagree but I’ve had no complaints;)

    amanda’s last blog post..The rule of threes

    Certainly no purist here! Your version sounds lovely Amanda. I’ll have to do it without tomatoes the next time on your and Judith’s recommendation :)

    [Reply]

  7. figcharlie
    04.23.2008

    borlotti beans have taken the place of kidney beans in my chilli con carne and baked beans are completely off the menu at 2 euro a tin. Robbers, these deli owners are! xx

    FWIW figcharlie, this is also great with borlotti beans–the recipe is linked in the related posts on the bottom as “Are you cookin’ beans?” ;)

    [Reply]

  8. 04.23.2008

    Hi Michelle! :)
    I love fava beans…but cannellini are my fav.
    This recipe looks absolutely to die for!!

    Laurie’s last blog post..Caprese

    Ciao Laurie! Favas, huh? Well this certainly is the right time for them :)

    [Reply]

  9. 04.23.2008

    Yummmmm! Another one I gotta try…. ;)

    Dory’s last blog post..Quiz time!

    Please do Dory! FYI, we actually mixed Borlotti and Cannellini last night in this, and it was *fabulous* :)

    [Reply]

  10. 04.23.2008

    I just tried this recipe from Apples For Jam…it was wonderful! Easy to make and it felt really healthy to eat it..

    sadira’s last blog post..Tonic…

    Ooh I’ve never heard of Apples for Jam; now I’m intrigued….

    [Reply]

  11. 04.24.2008

    Tomatos, basil, garlic, and beans… this has got to be another winner! Sounds wonderful!

    BTW, I used the George Ella Lyon poem exercise in class this week, with great results. It’s the first exercise where my students have asked for extra copies of the template to try again at home. Thanks!

    annoa2′s last blog post..The verbs around here

    Oh I’m so happy to hear the poem went over so well! Thrilled!

    Also maybe your carnivores would like this dish with some bacon….

    [Reply]

  12. 04.24.2008

    Yum. I always have canned beans of many varieties on hand – such a staple.

    Simply Gluten-free’s last blog post..Gluten-free Grain-free Zucchini Nut Bread

    Definitely a staple. I’m so happy that they’ve become part of our normal routine around here :)

    [Reply]

  13. 04.24.2008

    Hi Michelle,
    I’m a basil kind of girl so I would love your dish just the way you made it! Delicious!!
    Hey, I noticed that you’re writing for the “notebook” Congrats on that! I really enjoy reading and looking at all the pictures on that site. Good for you! :)

    Marie’s last blog post..GRILLED CHICKEN OREGANATO

    Thanks Marie; it’s fun to tell even more people about bella Calabria :)

    [Reply]

  14. MoscowMom
    04.25.2008

    YUM! And so easy! I happen to have two cans of borlotti beans here (hard to find in Moscow; I grabbed them when I saw them…) and now I know how I’m going to use them… I hope the kids will like it :-)

    Aw geez, I hope they do too! This is great with borlotti :)

    [Reply]

  15. 04.25.2008

    That looks and sounds wonderful. I’ll have to try it.

    Devon
    Ink in My Coffee

    Devon Ellington’s last blog post..Friday, April 25,2008

    I hope you like it Devon!

    [Reply]

  16. 04.25.2008

    What a wonderful recipe! I can’t wait to try it.

    jen of a2eatwrite’s last blog post..Music Monday – “Respect” – Aretha Franklin

    Let me know how it comes out Jen :)

    [Reply]

  17. 04.26.2008

    In these parts they add slices of sausage to this dish…ooh, yeah!

    Ooh and I just bought sausage today too! Mmmm….

    [Reply]

  18. 08.29.2008

    Yum! Looking forward to trying this. ;-)

    Paz

    Paz’s last blog post..Egg Curry

    Hope you enjoy it Paz!

    [Reply]

  19. 12.14.2008

    I make something similar, only I use borlotti and cannellini beans, tinned tomatoes, lashings of olive oil, garlic and a good dosing of sage instead of basil – rich and yummy! ;-)

    Absolute Vanilla’s last blog post..Gratitude Meme

    I often mix the beans too…never have sage around though, but it sounds great!

    [Reply]

  1. [...] around noon just as I was peeling garlic to make this for lunch, it began to storm and continued for a g... bleedingespresso.com/2008/08/rainy-pink-afternoon-with-petite-anglaise.html

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