This dish is based on a famous Tuscan dish, “Fagiolo all’Uccelletto”, which directly translated means, “Beans the Bird’s Way”. No one knows exactly why it’s called that… but we invite you to post your hypotheses in the comments below.
Depending on the size of your appetite, this can be a starter or side dish, but a bowl of this could make do for light lunch or dinner.
Disclaimer: I cheat in this recipe. Traditionally, you would use fresh or dried cannellini beans which should be soaked for 12 hours before cooking for another 40 mins. Living my life, this requires far more foresight, planning and time than I have. So I use canned beans, and it still tastes incredibly good. “Mi amor”, who is a Roman, agrees that it’s pretty tasty. And he’s usually insistent on using fresh beans. So there you go…
Ingredients for 4 people
- 1 garlic clove (crushed)
- 3 sage leaves
- 4 tbs of extravirgin olive oil
- 200g of cherry tomatoes (cut half and a little smashed)
- 450 g of cannellini beans (excluding the water and can)
- salt and pepper
(If you are using fresh or dried cannellini beans, soak them in water for 12 hours. Then remove the water and cook in 800ml of salted water for about 40 mins.)
In a heavy-based pan, gently saute the garlic and sage, until fragrant and the garlic just begins to brown. Add the quartered tomotoes, giving then a squeeze with the spoon or fork or hand (if you like to be hands-on) before placing them in the pan. Cook for about 10 mins, and then add the drained beans. Mix lightly, adding salt and a generous amount of pepper to taste. Cook for another 10 mins.
Serve this hot with a slice of freshly baked bread and a dash of olive oil, as a main course. Alternatively, as a side-dish or starter, it goes very well with a main dish of stuffed vegetables or a rice dish.