Tuscan Tomato Beans all’uccelletto
Tuscan Tomato Beans (fagioli all’uccelletto) is a simple, vegan Italian side dish made with ‘from scratch’ cannellini beans (Italian white beans), cooked in a tomato sauce with onion, garlic, fresh sage and crushed tomatoes.
All’uccelletto translates to ‘little bird’, uccelli meaning bird. Not sure of the connection to the beans, but who am I to argue with the Italians? Disclosure: There were no birds harmed in the making of this dish 🤣.
One of my favorite things about real Italian cooking is that he Italians use very few simple (yet very good) ingredients to create the most delicious dishes and this particular dish is no exception.
Tuscans are most famous for their olive oil and use of fresh herbs, however, they are also famous for their bruschetta, of which I have another bean flavor variation in my Warm Tuscan Bean Crostini with Crispy Kale.
Interestingly, there are many variations from different regions throughout Italy whereby they add crumbled sausage to this bean dish and sometimes different herbs like basil, thyme and mint.
This recipe is a little like the Italian version of British Baked Beans, only cooked stove top, not baked.
Dried beans are best
The Tuscans are proud of their food and you won’t catch them using canned/tinned beans in their dishes. Dried beans only, if you please!
Dried beans soaking and cooking
Dried beans are best soaked overnight. The longer they soak, the faster they cook. Cooking will vary depending on how long you soak them and it also depends on the beans. I have found that on some occasions they cook faster than other.
Cooking dried beans
It’s always best to flavor the beans while they boil. I like to add onion and garlic, but no salt at this stage as this can lengthen the cooking time.
Tuscan Tomato Beans all’uccelletto serving suggestion
They are elegantly perfect on their own with crusty bread. Or, I recently served them with Italian Sausage and Cabbage (recipe coming soon) and they all go so well together. These beans would also be a delicious side with my Slow CookerTuscan Short Ribs.