DaVinci Wine Cookbook: page 8 [of 10] CONTORNI
Contorni. Meals are often accompanied by a plate of tenderly cooked garbanzo or cannellini beans, a dish of sautéed-with-garlic spinach or grilled mixed vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini and asparagus are common). At nearly every meal, we enjoyed a plate of cannellini beans, perfectly cooked then seasoned with the best-quality olive oil and liberal grinds of salt and pepper. I tried my hand at making this white-bean side---and now you can too:
Serves 2 – 4.
1 cup dried white beans (cannellini, great northern, navy) 2-3 T of olive oil KS&CP TT (Kosher Salt & Coarse Pepper, To Taste) 1 sprig of fresh sage 1 head garlic, cut in half on its equator Optional: thin slice of bacon or pancetta
Soak beans in cold water for 8 hours or longer, drain. Rinse and drain again. Preheat oven to 350; combine beans, oil, sage, 1/2 head of garlic (most of papery outside removed) and pancetta if using. Add approx. 6 cups of water, making sure to cover beans. Cover dish and back 1 ½ hours and check for doneness---you don’t want beans to start to fall apart/become mush/separate from skins. When they are just done, remove and drain. Season with salt and pepper; serve the beans warm with olive oil.
*this cookbook was produced for DaVinci Wines; they kindly sponsored a trip to Vinci, Italy for 4 Storytellers---I was the 'Culinary Storyteller.' While I was not paid to go on the trip (well in experience "dollars" YES!), DaVinci Wines paid for the trip. Yet as is always the case: all opinions, recipes and insights are my own.