Beans all’Uccelletto - Tuscany Style  

“Fagioli all’Uccelletto” 

 

Beans all’uccelletto” is a recipe that Terry, my wife cooks occasionally using a Tuscan recipe she learned from her great-grandmother Emilia.  

Nonna Emilia was born and raised in Serravalle Pistoiese in Tuscany. Terry had much love for her and in fact she refers to her as “my grandmother Emilia” and she remembers her for her intelligence, her wisdom, and because she was also a great cook. 

This is a perfect dish for the busy life of today’s women in their role as carrier woman, mother, wife and homemaker, because it can be quickly prepared; and in fact if using good quality canned cannellini beans, this recipe can be prepared in a short time and with few ingredients. 

 

 

Serve 4 to 6  

Ingredients 

 

½ lb. dry beans, soaked overnight 

4 tablespoons of olive oil 

3 garlic cloves, sliced  

2 sprigs of sage or 10 leaves or 2 teaspoons of dry 

2 tablespoons of tomato paste, diluted in ½ cup of warm water  

Crushed red pepper flakes 

Salt and pepper 

Preparation: 

The Beans 

 

Inspect the dry beans for any small stones or foreign articles, rinse well. Soak the beans overnight in a large pot with plenty of water.  

In a heavy sauce pot, place 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 clove of garlic; cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add drained beans, ½ of the sage and enough water to be 2 inches above the beans.  Bring to a boil then simmer covered for 45 minutes. 

Keep a pot with boiling water, to add to beans if they become too dry. Liquid should be 1 inch above beans at all the time. 

Test beans for doneness if they are ready set aside, or simmer beans until soft but not overdone; when cooked add ½ tablespoon of salt. Place into a bowl and set on the side. 

Or use 2 cans of 15 oz. cannellini beans, which equals to ½ lb. dry beans; rinse well to eliminate the canning salt.  

 

Fagioli all’Uccelletto 

 

Use the same pot and combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 cloves of garlic and place over a medium heat. When the garlic turns golden in color, remove skillet from the fire, and add in the tomato paste diluted in water; return to heat and cook for 10 minutes. 

Add beans, sage, peppers, some salt, if needed and simmer for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Beans all’uccelletto should not be too liquid or too dry, but thick like a stew. If they are too dry add some hot water, if too watery simmer uncovered. 

 

The Serving 

 

Serve warm or at room temperature, with crushed red pepper flakes on the side. 

The delicious “Beans all’uccelletto” can be served as an appetizer, or as a contorno, side dish, to braised, roasted or stewed meat and to sausages; also it can be served as a meal accompanied with fresh “Pane Sciocco”, Tuscany classic salt free bread and a good bottle of Chianti wine.