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Fagioli alla Toscana
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Fagioli alla Toscana

Union Square Cafe Cookbook:
160 Favorite Recipes from
New York's Acclaimed Restaurant

by Danny Meyer and Michael Romano, 1994, HarperCollins

“With tongue in cheek, Tuscans often refer to themselves as ‘mangiafagioli’
(bean eaters) – so addicted are they to eating beans. Classically served with
their beloved bistecca alla fiorentina – a hefty grilled T-bone steak slathered
with olive oil and lemon – white beans are a satisfying accompaniment to
roast meats and, we’ve found, even to grilled seafood and fish.
Many Union Square Café guests enjoy the fagioli on their own as a hearty
appetizer. Make sure to have plenty of good olive oil on hand to drizzle
over the beans at the table.
It is important not to undercook fagioli. Unlike pasta, beans cooked al
dente are both unpleasant to eat and difficult to digest.”

Serves 4

1 cup dried cannelloni or Great Northern beans
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 celery rib
1 carrot, scrubbed and cut in half lengthwise
1 medium onion, peeled, halved, and
stuck with 2 cloves
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon each minced rosemary,
sage and thyme
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
Academia Barilla Pecorino Gran Cru
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Cover the beans with cold water and soak overnight.
2. Drain the beans and place them in a saucepan with cold water to cover
by at least 3 inches. Add the celery, carrot, onion halves, and the bay
leaf. Bring to boil and immediately turn down to a simmer. With a
slotted spoon or ladle, carefully skin off any foam that rises to the sur-
face of the water. Continue simmering, covered, for 1 hour. Add the
salt and continue cooking an additional 30 minutes, or until the beans
are completely cooked and tender. Test for doneness by gently squeez-
ing a bean between your fingers – it should give without any resistance.
Discard the vegetables and, if not serving right away, let the beans cool
in their cooking liquid.
3. To serve, heat the olive oil and garlic in a skillet over medium heat; be careful not to brown the garlic. Add the beans to the skillet with 1 1/2
cups of their cooking liquid. Bring to a boil, add the herbs, and three
quarters of the cheese. Continue to boil briskly until the liquid reduces
to form a sauce, about 10 minutes. Don’t be concerned if some of
the beans disintegrate. Along with the olive oil and cheese, they will
thicken and enrich the sauce. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer the beans to a serving dish, sprinkle with remaining cheese
and some additional extra-virgin olive oil if you like.

Academia Barilla 100% Italian Unfiltered Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

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