Tuscan stewed bean soup also known in Tuscany as Fagioli all’Uccelletto, is an ancient recipe which consists of cannellini beans, sage and Tomato sauce.

Sage is essential and this in spite of the recipe’s name, which was originally ironically ‘fagioli con gli uccelletti scappati’, that is, ‘beans with escaped birds’. The reason is that in the olden days, game was only the preserve of the middle class where there were small birds in this dish. The poorer social classes replaced the birds with sage, which alone gave the beans a meaty flavour.

Serves: 4, Preparation Time: 10 minutes, Cooking: 50-60 mins

  • 500 g dried or canned cannellini beans
  • 200 g whole peeled tomatoes, chopped or 250 g tomato passata
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • Fresh sage, several leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste


If you use dried cannellini beans, put them in a large bowl with cold water and soak them for about 12 hours or the whole night before.
After the soaking time has passed, wash and drain them. Put the drained beans to cook in boiling water over low heat for about 2 hours without adding salt. Drain them when ready.

This step is skipped if you are using canned beans.

In a crock pot, heat 3 tablespoons of oil and sauté the whole garlic cloves. As soon as they start to brown, add fresh sage, some ground black pepper and a pinch of salt and stir.

Add the chopped whole peeled tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, stir and cook for about 15 minutes.
Now add the cooked beans, stir and leave to cook for 10 minutes on low heat and lid covered. Once the bean stew is ready, remove the lid and turn up the heat 2 to 3 minutes, so that the sauce thickens up slightly. Serve warm.

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