Saturday, August 21, 2010

Five Bean Fagioli all'Uccelletto

The diversity and richness of legumes aren't appreciated nearly enough, as far as I am concerned.  Their nutritional content, texture, hardiness in the garden as well as in dishes....

Faglioli all'Uccelletto, basically beans, tomato, and herbs, is a Tuscan staple that has the potential for greatness in every pot.  It is what I consider a white canvas dish, begging for color, expression, and excitement.  I could do a whole chapter on just variations of this dish, as I could with Pot-au-Feu or Paella.  This "little bird" bean dish grants attention.....

1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 lb prosciutto, bite size rough chop
2 ounces cleaned and chopped wild mushrooms (stems trimmed)
1/2 cup white wine
3 tomatoes, par boiled, peeled, rough chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 sprig rosemary
32 oz chicken stock
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp capers, with juice
1 Tbsp brown sugar
3 cups beans (directions below)
Salt and pepper to taste


The bean thing.....

Black turtle beans
Blackeye peas
Great northern beans
Red kidney Beans
Baby lima beans
(of course others can be substituted)

The night before….
In a large sealable plastic container, combine five one pound packages of dried beans. Retrieve 3 cups of the mixture, and place in a large pot. Cover with 8-10 cups of water and let soak overnight.

In the morning….
Drain the beans. Add another 8-10 cups of water, 2 bay leaves, and bring to a slight bowl, turn to low, simmer with lid cracked a bit for 30 min to 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally and testing the softness. Skim off any foam. When desired tenderness is accomplished, keep the liquid in the pot and continue with the recipe…..

In a separate pan, saute onions, prosciutto, and mushrooms in the olive oil and butter until onions are translucent and mushrooms have wilted. Deglaze with the white wine. Add a bit of the bean cooking liquid, and scrape the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen ingredients. Add to bean pot. Turn pot on medium. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for 15 minutes.

If you can get your hands on a Vernaccia di San Gimignano, you will be walking on clouds....


1 comment:

  1. I think this recipe might work for the Blood Type Diet. Yeah I am skeptical about a diet tailored to my blood type, but even if it doesn't work, it's pretty much omitted red meat and non-cultured dairy from my diet.
    Looking forward to what you come up with next!