Fagioli Alla Toscana
by Michael Romano
Makes 6 servings
1 cup dry cannellini beans
1 stalk celery
1 medium carrot, peeled and split lengthwise
1 bay leaf
1 medium white onion, peeled and halved
2 whole cloves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
3/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh sage, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1. Cover beans with water and soak overnight.
2. Next day, drain beans, then place in a large saucepan with cold, lightly salted water to cover. Add celery, carrot, bay leaf and onion halves stuck with cloves. Bring to a boil, then simmer until beans are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Discard vegetables and let beans cool in their cooking liquid.
3. In a saute pan over medium heat, gently heat olive oil, add garlic and half the herbs and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, being careful not to brown garlic. With a slotted spoon, add beans and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add about 1 1/2 cups of their cooking liquid. Stir in 1/2 of Pecorino Romano cheese and remaining herbs. Boil briskly for about 10 minutes until liquid reduces slightly to form a “sauce.” If beans are tender before sauce thickens, remove them with a slotted spoon and continue boiling down liquid, then pour over beans. Add salt and pepper, if needed, to taste and transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Recipe © 1994 Michael Romano. All rights reserved.