Travel, Cooking, Doing, Eating and Drinking (that about covers it)

Tuscan White Beans (a recipe from Dario Cecchini)

Going to Dario Cecchini’s in Panzano in Chianti is always fun. While getting there may cause a little dizziness as you navigate the switchbacks that climb up and down the hills in the Chianti area, once you get there, the only dizziness you may feel is from taking in the scene that is the butcher shop. Besides being the most famous butcher shop in the world, it is host to three different restaurants with seven different menus. One item that is on most of the set menu lists is the Tuscan white beans or, as they are also known, cannellini beans.

Cannellini beans? What? In North America, you can find them as white kidney beans in both dried and canned forms. Cannellini beans are a staple in Central and Southern Italy.  Their super creamy texture provides  an excellent source (one serving will give you 20% of your suggested daily intake) of iron, magnesium and folate. They are high in protein while being low in fat and calories (summer is eventually coming people!).

On top of all these good things, they are easy to make and super versatile! You will want to make a large quantity of them because they are great for leftovers (spoiler alert – there will be reboot recipes with these beans in the weeks to come).

I’ve done this simple side dish two ways: on the stovetop as well as in the slow cooker. The beans can be made even if you have very little time in the morning. Prep is super simple and quick – you can do this while you are waiting for your coffee to brew.

Prep time: 2 minutes; Cook time: 2 hours (stove) 6+ hours (slow cooker); Serves: 12; Calories per serving: 164

What you need:

  • 3 cups dried cannellini (white kidney) beans
  • 9 cups water
  • 3 cups olive oil
  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • 1/2 bunch of sage
  • salt, pepper

What you do (slow cooker):

  • Place beans in slow cooker, add water
Place beans in slow cooker, add water
  • Add olive oil
Add olive oil
  • Add garlic and sage
Add garlic and sage
  • Cook for 6+ hours until beans are tender
  • Discard most of the sage (the bigger chunks)
  • Remove and reserve garlic
  • Serve beans in bowl, with some of the olive oil/water mix

  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste

What you do (stovetop):

  • Place beans in a large 5L Dutch over
  • Add water, olive oil, garlic and sage

  • Bring to a boil on medium-high
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours
  • Discard most of the sage (the bigger chunks)
  • Remove and reserve garlic
  • Serve beans in bowl, with some of the olive oil/water mix
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste

The slow cooker method gives you beans that are a little softer than the stovetop (obviously).

Leftovers? No problem! Check Travel*Food*Cool for future posts (coming up on Monday and a week Thursday) on how to use your leftover White Tuscan Beans!

When you are storing the beans in the fridge for future use, cover with the olive oil/water mix that they were cooking in.

Store leftover beans in the olive oil water mix they cooked in


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