November 25, 2008

Beans and Pork

first recipe, oven-roasted beans..... today fagioli all'uccelleto with sausage

In Tuscany, I have learned to cook larger quantities of food and transform it into different dishes instead of eating leftovers. Beans are one of the mainstays of a Tuscan diet and are eaten in many forms. Served simply as in the last blog, just as a side dish to soups and stews or in summer as a salad with tuna! Here is the traditional recipe for stovetop cooking of the beans and a list or recipes.

One of my favorites for any season is the twice cooked version called
Fagioli all' Uccelleto
Bird-style beans

Cooking the beans with garlic and sage is usually used for small birds, hence the name.
This recipe is often served with grilled sausage, Tuscany's Pork and Beans.
The sausages are grilled and then warmed in the twice-cooked beans, giving off some of their luscious fat to flavor the sauce.I like to slice the sausages to get more flavor and also for parties is easier to serve.

Cooked cannellini or pinto beans ( borlotti or lamon)
you can use canned beans, just drain and rinse off first.

extra virgin olive oil
2 or 3 large sage leaves ( or a small branch)
2 garlic cloves
2 or 3 birds-eye chili peppers
1 small can tomato sauce

2 or 3 sausages

Cover the bottom of a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil.
Add sliced garlic and chili peppers. ( if you want to remove the chili, leave whole)
Heat oil, add sage.
When the garlic is sizzling, remove from heat and add tomato sauce.
Be careful of the oil spitting.

Season tomato with salt to taste and let cook for 20 minutes.

Add cooked beans and continue cooking until the beans have absorbed some of the sauce.
The secret is that the beans give off some of their sauce to the tomato and the beans absorb some of the tomato.

Todays version I consider: Tuscan Chili con Carne
I take the sausage out of the skins and sautee them, like ground beef for chili.
After the beans are done in the sage-infused sauce I add the ground pork.

Buon appetito!


1 comment:

  1. What's not to love? Sausage, garlic, chilis, and sage with meaty beans..........sounds wonderful!