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Fagioli All' Uccelletti (Beans Like " Little Birds")

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  • 1 c Dried cannelini or other small white beans, soaked 6 hrs. or overnight in water to cover, drained.
  • 3 c Water or broth
  • 1/4 c Really good extra virgin olive oil (this provides much of the flavor, so don't scrimp on quality - the rest of the dish costs about fifty cents).
  • 1 sm Box (Pomi brand) or small can of chopped plum tomatoes. Equivalent amount of fresh tomatoes if it's summertime.
  • 2 Sprigs fresh sage (up to 3)
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced (more to taste)


Cook soaked beans and sage in 3 cups water or broth until tender but not mushy (1 to 1/12 hrs). Sautee the garlic in the olive oil, but don't let the garlic brown. Stir the tomatoes into the garlic, cook a few minutes, add to the beans and cook until melded a bit. Shouldn't be soupy, shouldn't be dry. Cook longer, or add more broth to reach correct consistency. I stir in a mixture of chopped raw garlic and parsley before serving for zing.
I've also made it without the tomato, allowed the beans cool to room temperature, then tossed with good quality canned tuna, sprinkled the whole with lots of chopped red onion and parsley. Tastes better than it sounds and is very typically Tuscan dish. People rave about this one, too, and can't believe that there's nothing to it.
Posted to FOODWINE Digest 09 Jan 97
From: Nancy Brandt <Nancy.Brandt@UCOP.EDU>
Date: Thu, 9 Jan 1997 12:21:38 -0800