Fagioli all’uccelletto are Tuscan comfort food for me. Since I got home from my teaching tour in the states, the weather has been windy, rainy and perfect for staying in the house and being sick!
I seemed to have picked up Bronchitis on the flight home and it knocked me out.
I am just getting back to normal now and taking it slowly.
The first foods I have wanted are all Tuscan comfort foods. I first made some boiled meats to have nice bowls of broth with tortellini.
Then a huge pot of minestrone.
Now that I am feeling better, I was ready for some more hearty food and I cooked up some Tuscan white beans, simply boiled with sage, garlic and olive oil, to add to my minestrone. Italians are famous for not just eating left-overs, but recreating new dishes.
I always make a huge pot, to save to make my favorite twice cooked beans called fagioli all’uccelleto, beans cooked bird-style.
The beans are already flavorful on their own, but a slow stewing in this sage and garlic infused tomato sauce just makes them even better. Traditionally, they are served with grilled sausage, but are fabulous on their own.
I suggest cooking them and then letting them sit so that the starch from the beans, thickens the tomato sauce.
- small sage branch
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- chili pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small can plum tomatoes ( i like to use the San Marzano DOP)they are picked ripe
- Cover the bottom of the pan with extra virgin olive oil.
- Add the garlic in thick slices and the sage branch and turn on the heat.
- Add the chili pepper ( flakes or break the small birds eye chilis)
- When the garlic starts to get golden,add the tomato sauce. BE careful it will splatter.
- I suggest taking the pan off the heat, let the oil cool a little, then add the tomatoes.
- Break up the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon or a fork.
- Salt to taste.
- Cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add the cooked, drained beans and let warm together.
- The beans will make the sauce creamier and eventually denser.
- Serve with whole grilled sausages which can be heated in the bean mixture as well or simply as a side dish.
- At one of my favorite restaurants in Florence, Cibreo,Chef Fabio Picchi adds crumbled cooked sausage, to his bean, making it like a Tuscan Chili con Carne.
- I would also love this recipe as a base for a Pasta e Fagioli, adding cooked pasta and creating a perfect protein of beans and pasta.