Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The River Café Cookbook

By Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers

Published 1995

  • About

On a visit to Capezzana, the estate that produces our olive oil, we were told to always put bicarbonate of soda in dried pulse soaking water. This softens the skins.


  • 250 g (9 oz) dried or fresh cannellini beans
  • 2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of so


Soak the beans in a generous amount of water overnight with the bicarbonate of soda. Drain the beans well, place in a saucepan, cover with fresh cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then drain again. Pour in enough fresh water to cover by about 5 cm (2 in), then add the tomato, garlic bulb and sage. Return to the boil and simmer, covered, occasionally removing any scum that