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- Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm writes Le Calendre Valpolicella; Romance is not just for special occasions.
Allegrini is one of the Veneto’s most acclaimed winery estates; they have been growing grapes and making wine for over six generations. Back in March 2020, I wrote about Marilisa Allegrini when the group was looking at Italian women in wine. You can read my post Marilisa Allegrini, Poggio al Tesoro Solosole Vermentino 2018, & Crab and Cambozola-Stuffed Arancini.
- 1 cup dried beans (cannellini are usual, but I used gigantes), soaked in salted cold water overnight
- 1 bulb of garlic, cut in half horizontally
- 1 sprig of sage
- 1/2 onion
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 8 to 10 garlic cloves, peeled and pressed
- 2 sprigs of sage, leaves picked and finely chopped
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
- freshly ground salt
- freshly ground pepper
Drain the soaked beans and place in a pot with the garlic bulb, 1 sprig of sage, and onion. Top up with water and season with a generous pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the beans are tender, approximately 35–45 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking water. Discard the onion, garlic and sage. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat olive oil in an oven-proof dish (I used my enamel cast iron braiser) and gently fry the 8 to 10 garlic cloves and 2 sprigs of sage until soft and aromatic. Do not let them brown.
Once the garlic cloves are softened, stir in the soaked beans. Stir everything gently to coat in the oil, then add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Pour in enough of the reserved bean cooking liquor to cover the beans.
Season with salt and pepper then place the lid on the casserole. Place pot in the oven for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes to thicken up the sauce, if needed. Serve hot with thickly sliced sourdough bread.