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Agrigento, Sicily, Italy

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Angela's Italian and Sicilian Recipes
Cannellini Beans with Tomato-Sage Sauce
Cannellini Beans with Tomato-Sage Sauce
(Fagioli Cannellini con Salsa di Pomodoro e Salvia)

For the Beans:
3 cups (about 21 ounces) dried cannellini (white kidney beans)
3 quarts cold water
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1 large bunch fresh sage leaves
16 whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon salt

For the Sauce:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
12 large fresh sage leaves
8 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 lbs plum tomatoes, seeded, coarsely chopped 

Prepare the Beans:
Place beans in large bowl; cover generously with water.

Let stand at room temperature overnight.

Drain beans; transfer to heavy large pot.

Add 3 quarts water, olive oil, garlic, sage bunch, and peppercorns.

Bring to boil over medium-high heat.

Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered until beans are tender, about 1 hour 5 minutes.

Remove from heat; mix in salt.

Cool beans 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Refrigerate in water.)

Prepare the Sauce:
Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat.

Add sage and garlic; saute 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes and saute until tomatoes soften and begin to release juices, about 8 minutes.

Drain beans, reserving cooking liquid.

Discard sage bunch.

Mix beans into tomato sauce.

Simmer over medium-low heat until sauce thickens slightly and flavors blend, adding reserved cooking liquid by half cupfuls if mixture is dry, about 30 minutes (beans should have slightly soupy consistency).

Season with salt and pepper.

Serve beans warm or at room temperature. Makes 8 servings.
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