Fagioli All’Uccelletta is an Italian white bean stew cooked with fresh sage in a light tomato sauce. You can use cannellini, Great Northern or navy beans for this recipe. It is also a traditional Tuscan dish occasionally served with stewed meats; however, the stew is hearty and delicious without the need of any animal products. I’ve been loving white beans lately such as the Linguine Carbonara and had the great fortune of being introduced to this vegan and gluten-free recipe by someone close to us. We also picked up some lovely organic rainbow chard and shiitake mushrooms from the Farmers’ Market to accompany the Fagioli All’Uccelletta.
The Fagioli All’Uccelletta recipe requires only six ingredients: canned Great Northern beans, garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, sweet onions (Walla Walla), and fresh sage. I love simple recipes with fewer ingredients. You can use 1 pound of dried beans instead of the canned beans, but the process is long. In a large saucepan, soak the dried beans in enough cold water to cover by 2 inches at least 8 hours or overnight. Then simmer the beans, covered, until tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Reserve 1 cup cooking liquid instead of the canned beans’ liquid. But for this recipe, we are using Organic Great Northern Beans (No Salt Added).
For the tomatoes, we used this brand: Strianese Whole Peeled D.O.P. San Marzano Tomatoes , and DOP means they are certified; it’s just a certification of provenance. They are pretty tasty tomatoes imported from Italy.
- In a saucepan or deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic, onions and fresh or dried sage. Cook until garlic is soft and not too brown.
- Add reserved liquid (from the canned beans), beans, tomatoes with juice, salt and pepper to taste and simmer mixture, stirring occasionally , until thickened, about 25 to 30 minute until beans are tender. Serve immediately.
For the tomatoes, we used Strianese Whole Peeled D.O.P. San Marzano Tomatoes.
You can use a pound of dried beans instead of the canned beans, but the process is long. In a large saucepan, soak the dried beans in enough cold water to cover by 2 inches at least 8 hours or overnight. Then simmer the beans, covered, until tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Reserve 1 cup cooking liquid and add to the stew.
Add vegetables? Add diced eggplants, squash, etc. anything you like halfway through.
Want to make it thick? Don't use liquid from the canned beans, only the tomatoes. Let it cook longer.
Want to make it soupy? Use the liquid from all the cans and add about 1/2 cup water. Add a bit of salt.
Don't have fresh sage? Use dried rosemary & sage if needed.
Aren’t rainbow chard gorgeous with their neon-colored stalks? I personally like their yellow and pink stalks. This lightly sautéed rainbow chard and shiitake mushrooms recipe can be used as an appetizer or a colorful side dish. It is gluten-free, too. Add a bit of dried chili flakes for a bit of heat or finely grated lemon zest for a bit of tangy flavor. It is optional to make the sautéed dish. Fagioli All’Uccelletta can be eaten alone, or served with a hearty polenta.
- Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, stir and cook until fragrant. Do not let garlic brown.
- Add the chard leaves, cook covered, and stir until the leaves are softened, about 6-8 minutes. Meanwhile, add the shiitake mushrooms halfway through the cooking, and sauté for 3-4 minutes. If the leaves look dry, add a couple tablespoons of water.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl, and sprinkle with dried chili flakes and serve immediately.