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Bird Beans (Fagioli all’uccelletto)

I can’t get enough beans, ever. This dish resembles, probably badly, a Tuscan bean dish called fagioli all’uccelleto. I’m translating that roughly, and probably badly, as “bird beans.” For this dish you need: dried beans, tomato, sage, garlic, and love.

The recipe calls for cannellini. I usually substitute Michigan navy beans, whose goodness is unsurpassed. This time, because we have been enjoying other recipes for chickpea, the uccelletto (Italian for little bird) is eating chickpeas (though an Italian bird would call them ceci).

I cooked the hell out of a cup of dried chickpeas in advance–

I follow Marcella Hazan’s advice, cooking beans or chickpeas on very low heat in just enough water to keep them covered. Add salt and pepper. Add water as needed. Add olive oil because it makes the beans brothy. Cooking time on chickpeas is basically all morning. Like 3-4 hours.

Then, in the crock shown, I add the tomato (chopped, sans seeds) and sage and garlic, cooking the chickpeas down even more, until they’re saucy not brothy. That will be another hour or so.

This dish was my father’s day present to myself and son-in-law Danny. We’ll have them as a side dish at room temp for lunch.

And they are excellent the next day.

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