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Friday, October 2, 2009

Florentine-Style Baked White Beans: Fagioli all Fiorentina

Our absolute favorite thing to do with baked white beans is to make Florentine-Style White Baked Beans. It's a casserole that we much prefer these to the sweet pork and beans served at summer picnics throughout America. Serve these once and you'll have people asking you to bring them to the next outing or dinner.

The complexity of the flavors in this pot go with fish, pork, hamburger, beef ... you name it.

Start with the cooked white beans we made a couple of days ago. Put half of the beans (probably three cups) in an oven-proof casserole, along with enough of the cooking liquid to make them slightly wet but not drowning. (Do NOT discard the cooking water. We'll deal with that in a future post.)

Pre-heat oven to 375-degrees F. Add 1-2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, a 15 oz. can of tomatoes, preferably fire roasted. (We use the kind with green chilis added because we like just a touch of heat, but the chili part is certainly optional.) Add 5 oz. of prosciutto cut into short strips (optional; we don't add this, given Ruth's vegetarianism), 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed, along with 3-5 fresh sage leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the liquid isn't up to the top of the beans—don't drown them—add enough liquid to just reach the top of the beans.

Put in the oven uncovered and bake for 30-45 minutes. Serve with any fish, chicken, pork or beef. Or just about anything vegetarian.

This pot of white baked beans can also stand up to a crisp chardonnay or a hearty red wine.

(You can make this with canned Cannellini beans if you're in a hurry or just don't want to make the dried beans.)


  1. Thanks, Vincent! We appreciate the kind feedback ... or any kind of feedback ...