Cannellini Beans in Tomato


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Apples for Jam

Apples for Jam

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2010

  • About

My family seems to like any version of white beans in tomato sauce. I make quite a lot so we can have it over two days. I like the beans soft and creamy. Serve them with grilled sausages or another meat, or just on their own on toast with a great heap of grated parmesan on top. These are cooked first on the stovetop for an hour and then finished in a casserole dish in the oven for another hour or so. Leftovers are great for throwing into a soup.


  • 500 g(1 lb2 oz) dried cannellini beans, soaked in cold water overnight
  • 1 sage sprig
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped celery leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 600 g(1 lb5 oz) tinned diced tomatoes


    Put the beans in a large pan, cover with plenty of cold water and bring to the boil. Skim the surface, lower the heat and add the sage sprig and bay leaf. If the bay leaf is fresh, add it towards the end of cooking. High simmer for about an hour, uncovered, topping up with hot water if it seems necessary. Add about a teaspoon of salt towards the end. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).

    Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish over medium heat. Sauté the onion for a few minutes until it is golden and a bit sticky. Add the parsley and celery leaves, cook for a few moments and then stir in the garlic and paprika. When you can smell the garlic, add the tomatoes and simmer for about 15 minutes or until they melt into a sauce. From time to time stir and squash them with your wooden spoon. Season well with salt and a couple of grinds of pepper. Drain the beans and add to the casserole with 500 ml(17 fl oz/2 cups) of hot water. Bring to a fast boil and boil for a few minutes. Put the dish, uncovered, in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until it looks golden on the top. It’s not necessary to stir, but check a couple of times that nothing is sticking. Turn down the heat to 150°C (300°F/Gas 2), add a little hot water if it looks too dry and bake for 15–20 minutes more. Taste for salt, put the lid back on and turn off the oven. Leave the beans in the oven to cool down a bit before serving.