A Hearty Italian Bean Dish: Fagioli all’Uccelletto
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Fagioli all’uccelletto is a traditional Tuscan dish, particularly popular in the Florence region. The name “Fagioli all’uccelletto” is believed to have originated from the fact that the ingredients were typically used in Tuscany to cook small birds, while others simply claim that the small birds were the meat that accompanied the beans as a side dish. Despite its original conception as a meat accompaniment, the dish is perfectly enjoyable on its own, making it an excellent vegan side dish option.
Related articles: Traditional Italian Vegan Dishes
The classic recipe calls for various types of beans: cannellini, borlotti, or Lamon beans; monachini in Mugello; and schiaccioni in Pietrasanta. To prepare the dish, it is suggested to use a pan and start with a light sauté of oil and sage, in which the pre-boiled beans are added for flavor. Tomato sauce, salt, and pepper are added shortly after.
- 250g cannellini beans
- 1 small piece of kombu seaweed or a pinch of baking soda
- 10g extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 sprig of fresh sage
- 400g tomato passata (pureed tomatoes)
- Freshly ground black pepper
How to Prepare: Tuscan-Style Beans (Fagioli all’Uccelletto)
- Begin by soaking the cannellini beans in plenty of lukewarm water along with a small piece of kombu seaweed or a pinch of baking soda. Allow the beans to soak for 8-12 hours. Rinse, drain, and cook the beans for 35-40 minutes in abundant boiling water, preferably using an earthenware pot. Add the kombu seaweed during cooking, then drain the beans and reserve a few tablespoons of the cooking water.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the garlic and sage leaves. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, and then gently stir in the cooked beans. Allow them to sauté for an additional minute.
- Add the tomato passata to the pan, cover with a lid, and let it cook for 20-25 minutes. If needed, add a few tablespoons of the reserved bean cooking water to make the dish more moist and less dry. The beans should be tender and well-cooked but not falling apart. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. The dish should not be dry but rather have a generous, saucy consistency. Serve the Tuscan-style beans piping hot, accompanied by fresh bread, bread crostini, or as desired.
Topics: authentic Fagioli all’Uccelletto recipe, Tuscan cannellini bean dish, traditional Italian bean recipes, vegetarian Tuscan recipes, Italian comfort food
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