Cannellini beans, which are widely used in Italian cooking, actually originate from Argentina.
These creamy white Italian beans are slightly larger and fatter than the white haricot beans and are more like a kidney in shape. They are related to the larger French Soissons and, like them, have a fluffy texture when cooked. They are a popular addition to classic minestrone and a variety of other soups. Cannellini beans are an essential ingredient for tonno e fagioli (tuna and bean salad) and Florentine fagioli all’uccelletto, where the beans are stewed with sage, tomatoes, and garlic. They are also delicious cooked with olive oil, onion ring slices, garlic, and parsley.
I prefer to cook with dried beans rather than canned beans. I do keep a few cans of beans in my pantry, however, as they’re useful in short notice circumstances. When you purchase canned beans make sure that the ingredients do not include sugar or salt.
To cook Cannellini Beans: Sort and rinse 3/4 cup Cannellini Beans. Place in a medium-size pot with 3 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a medium-low and cook 60 to 90 minutes until beans are soft. Add more water as needed while cooking to keep beans covered. Makes about 2 cups/4 servings.
To reduce cooking time, soak beans in water overnight in the refrigerator. Drain and throw away soaking water before proceeding.
“Work With What You Got!”
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