Turn leftovers into a fabulous soup the day after enjoying these flavourful Tuscan-style baked beans scented with fresh rosemary and enriched with Pecorino Romano. Also called fagioli alla Toscana, this dish is satisfying and inexpensive to make.
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
8 fresh sage leaves
2 branches rosemary
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup canned Italian plum tomatoes, chopped, with juices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups dried cannellini (white kidney beans) or navy beans, soaked overnight in water to cover
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F.
Step 2: In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add parsley, sage, rosemary and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes or until the garlic is softened and the herbs are fragrant. Stir in tomatoes with juice and a pinch each of salt and pepper; cook for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Step 3: In an 8-cup casserole dish, stir together tomato mixture, drained beans and half of the Pecorino Romano. Add enough cold water to cover beans; stir well. Cover casserole and bake for 2-1/2 hours or until beans are tender, testing for doneness every 30 minutes. (Cooking time will depend on freshness of the beans.)
Step 4: Remove and discard rosemary branches, which should be bare. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the surface. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes longer or until cheese is golden. Serve from casserole.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Reprinted with permission from Kathleen Sloan-McIntosh's 125 Best Italian Recipes (2008 Robert Rose).