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Fagioli All'Uccelletto
(Stewed White Beans)

Tips and Recipes from Caroleena's Tuscan Kitchen. Local chef and cooking instructor, Carol Barrow, resided in the center of Florence and in the province of Tuscany for ten years where she learned regional cooking from the masters: restaurant owners, farmers, family and friends. She owned Ristorante Vien under the Volta dei Peruzzi in Florence for four years. Caroleena cracks the mysterious code of Tuscan cooking and translates her very special language into easy, delicious and healthy recipes.
I am dedicating this recipe to Wendy, WSM's Assistant Product Manager...

Florentines LOVE white (cannellini) beans, either plain (as a side dish, with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper), stewed, in soups or in pasta dishes. This dish may be served by itself or with plain (salt and pepper) sausages that have been cooked first and then cooked again in order to flavor up the beans and their sauce. Both are delicious!

Ingredients:
- Cooked white beans (cannellini or navy) - either canned or soaked overnight. 12 ounces should be enough. When I prepare them myself, I boil them with carrot, celery, onion, salt, pepper, garlic cloves with the skin on and extra virgin olive oil. Either way, the beans will be fine.
- a whole garlic (broken into cloves with the skin left on)
- fresh sage (one or two sprigs)
- canned tomatoes (drained, rinsed and mashed)
- extra virgin olive oil (1/3 cup)
- salt (about a tablespoon) and pepper
- 12 ounces of water

Sautee the garlic, salt and pepper and the sage on a medium flame in the oil for about 5 minutes. Be sure that the sage doesn't burn. Add the can of tomatoes. You can then add the additional water and the beans. Stir. Cover these ingredients and simmer until the mixture firms up (probably about 15 minutes). Serve as a side dish, or as a main course with a piece of bread (ciabatta or peasant bread works perfectly) or if you are feeling really fancy, with a piece of cheese or salami.

Buon Appetito!Don't forget - always cook with love and DON'T BE CHEAP!

 
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