This recipe for Tuscan beans quickly became a household favorite after our European vacation!
I just got back from ten days in Italy. Trust me, there’s lots to say about the trip, particularly our inability to get anywhere without taking the scenic route, but the best part of it was how much we learned. Not only can I now tell a Renaissance door from a Gothic door (seriously – and I’m sorta proud of it), but I learned tons and tons about Italian wine, among other things. In fact, I may not ever again drink anything but Italian wine now. I’m convinced now that I absolutely must learn to make gelato, because of course we tried it at every place we possibly could.
As part of our stay, we also had a cooking class and a dinner cooked for us. They were simply amazing. I have so many new dishes to try out now, and I can’t wait to begin doing so. Then again, that may be why I replicated two of them while we were still in Italy. This afternoon, I made one of them again in the hopes that the wee ones would love them as much as I did. Little Miss enjoys the Tuscan beans, but unfortunately Mister Man didn’t like the texture so much. I’ll still be making them regularly.
How to Make Tuscan Beans
Heat a pan on the stove on medium heat. Once it’s hot (don’t use a nonstick pan), add a tablespoon or so of olive oil and let it come to temperature – you want enough so the onions don’t stick but don’t want to cover the whole bottom of the pan. Exact measurements aren’t critical. Add the onion and sage, and saute until it has just softened and turned translucent but before it starts to brown.
Add the cannelloni beans. Our instructor added the liquid in the cans, too, but I find that makes this too salty for me. I’d use maybe half the liquid or maybe a little less, then add some extra water. Add the remaining olive oil, along with the pepper. If you are using the canned beans, hold off on the salt for now. If not, add a bit of salt, as well. Mince your garlic, and add this, as well. Bring it to a simmer and let it cook down.
You want to keep cooking until it’s become thicker, forty-five minutes or so. This can hold on the stove for a long time, just add a little water if it gets too dry. Before you serve, fish out the sage leaves. Taste it one last time to check to see if you need to add any more salt or pepper. Drizzle a bit of extra olive oil over the beans just before serving. Enjoy!
What is your favorite authentic cuisine? Have you ever made Tuscan beans?
*I’ve made these both ways. The woman teaching the class made them with canned beans. I tried them first with canned beans and this time with dried beans. I’ll be honest. The canned beans taste better and have a – shockingly – better mouth feel. If you want to use dried beans, you will want 3/4 cup of dried beans. Put them in a pot with 3 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, then turn off the heat and cover. Let the beans sit for an hour and a half, then pull out 2 c water in a measuring cup and save it for later. Drain the beans from the rest of the water, then follow the instructions in the recipe. You’ll add the water you set aside to the beans at the step where I add the beans in the can and their “juice.”
- 2 cans cannelloni beans (white northern beans)
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 small bunch of sage leaves
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a pan on the stove on medium heat. Once hot, add a tablespoonof olive oil. Add onion and sage, and saute until it has just softened and turned translucent but before it starts to brown.
- Add cannelloni beans and half the can liquid, then add half a can of water. Add remaining olive oil, along with pepper. Mince your garlic, and add.
- Bring to a simmer and let it cook down for about 45 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Before serving, fish out sage leaves. Add salt or pepper, as needed. Drizzle a bit of extra olive oil over the beans just before serving.
This holds on the stove well as a bare simmer, meaning you can make it early in your dinner prep. If it gets a little dry, just add a quarter cup water and stir until it reaches your desired consistency.