Fagioli

Another one of our faves from our Italian eating vacation. (Not the prettiest picture, but super tasty.) You might find that you need to add more chicken stock — we did.

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Tuscan White Beans (from Barefoot Contessa, How Easy Is That?)

  • 1 pound dried white cannellini beans
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped fennel, stalks, fronds and core removed (2 large)
  • 2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 cup chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

The night before, soak dried beans in a large bowl with water to cover by at least 2 inches. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, drain the beans, rinse them well, and place them in a large stockpot. Add twice as much water as you have beans, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes, until beans are very tender. Skim off any foam that accumulates.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the fennel and carrots and saute for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Drain the beans and add them to the vegetables. Add the chicken stock, sage, rosemary, salt, and pepper and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 12 to 15 minutes, until creamy. Stir in the Pecorino, season to taste, and serve hot.

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