Fagioli all’uccelletto – Tuscan baked beans

Fagioli all’uccelletto – Tuscan baked beans
  • Side
  • easy
  • 6
  • 1 hour 30 minutes, plus overnight to soak the beans


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Tuscany is a region famous for its plethora of bean dishes – in fact, its inhabitants have even earned themselves the nickname 'mangiafagioli' (bean eaters), so they certainly know what they're doing when it comes to the art of cooking beans.

This deceptively simple baked bean dish is infused with garlic and sage and is surprisingly moreish. Remember to soak the beans overnight before cooking, otherwise they will take a very long time to soften.

Drain the soaked beans and place in a pan with the halved garlic bulb, sage and onion. Top up with water and season with a generous pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 35–45 minutes or until the beans become tender
Drain, reserving the cooking water. Discard the onion, garlic and sage. Preheat an oven to 160°C/gas mark 3
Heat 40ml of the oil in a casserole and gently fry the garlic and sage until soft. Be careful not to let them crisp up – you only want to flavour the oil
Once the garlic is soft, add the beans, stir gently to coat in the oil, then add the passata and top up with enough of the reserved bean cooking liquor to cover the beans
Season with salt and pepper then place the lid on the casserole. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes to thicken up the sauce, if needed
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