Italian Regional Recipes Secondi Piatti: Meat, Fish, Eggs, Cheese

Fagioli all’Uccelletto – Bean Stew with Sage & Tomato Sauce

This bean stew is typical of Florence and its surrounding areas; the name ‘All’uccelletto’ means ‘cooked in the way one cooks birds’, and it hints at the usage of sage. As this herb was traditionally used to flavour game dishes and preparations, this bean stew’s intense aroma will remind the person eating it of the stark taste of game meat.

The original recipe requires the usage of a crock pan, but you can also use a Dutch oven or a cast iron pot.


Serves: 2 | Preparation time: 15 mins | Cooking time 25 mins

  • Tomato sauce: 400 g
  • Canned white kidney beans or Canned cranberry beans: 250 g
  • Sage, fresh: 5 leaves
  • Sausages: 2
  • Garlic: 2 cloves
  • Bay leaves: 1
  • Celery: ½ a stalk
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): 3 tbsp
  • Salt and pepper: to taste

Method

Tip: It’s always a good idea to eliminate some of the sausages’ fat before using them, as it will make the dish healthier and lighter. Boil the sausages in a pot of water for a few minutes. Use a long wooden skewer to prick the sausages’ outer skin whilst they boil: in this way the fat will ooze out into the water. Drain the sausages before using them.

Cut the sausages into small pieces.

Crush the garlic cloves under the palm of your hand. Chop the celery stalk into small pieces. Heat up 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and fry up the garlic, the sage, the bay leaf and the celery stalk. Add the tomato sauce and cook for 2 to 5 minutes on medium heat.  Remove the bay leaf and season the sauce to taste, then leave it to simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.

Rinse the beans under cold running water, then add them to the tomato sauce. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 10 minutes on low heat. Once the bean stew is ready, remove the lid and turn up the heat for 2 to 3 minutes, so that the sauce thickens up slightly. Serve warm.

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