Cannellini beans with tomato and herbs

Rating: 2.6/5. From 16 votes.
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Cannellini beans with tomato and herbs

Literally the name means “in the manner of little birds”: this is the way that small birds were cooked up when they were brought home from a morning’s hunting. Cannellini beans are so much nicer…

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6


  • 250g (8 oz) dried cannellini beans, soaked the night before in plenty of water
  • A few small pieces kombu seaweed (opional)
  • 650 g (1.5 lb) ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, squashed
  • 10 sage leaves
  • Olive oil


  1. Change the water that the beans have soaked in overnight. Do not add salt to the water. Add the seaweed to improve digestibility.
  2. Bring to the boil then turn down and simmer slowly for an hour and a half or until the beans are tender but not mushy. You can us a pressure cooker to save time.
  3. Heat a good swirl of olive oil in a pot and add the garlic and sage leaves. Allow to fry a little but don’t let the garlic brown.
  4. When the garlic just begins to brown, add the tomatoes and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the drained beans and cook on a low heat for a further 20 minutes or until the sauce has reduced considerably and coats the beans thickly.
  6. Serve dressed with more raw olive oil swirled on top.

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