These beans are inspired by the amazing homemade beans on toast that are served up at The Edinburgh Larder – an amazing Deli and Café, and my favourite place for brunch in Edinburgh! Unfortunately, I live around four-hundred miles away, so I decided to come up with my own version. They take a bit of time to make, but the recipe is really simple and they add a bit of a twist to your average Sunday brunch. Hope you like!
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 bay leaf
½ red onion (finely chopped)
1 small carrot (very finely chopped)
1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
2 large tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
1 tablespoon tomato puree
500g can of plum tomatoes (good quality)
¼ teaspoon of sugar (you can add more if you prefer)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
500g can of cannellini beans in water
How to make it…
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the carrot and the bay leaf and fry gently for about four minutes, until the carrot starts to soften.
- Add the onion and fry for about six minutes or until the onion is soft, but not brown.
It’s best to keep the ingredients moving in the pan at this point to make sure they don’t burn.
- Add the garlic and fry for about one-and-a-half minutes, making sure it doesn’t brown.
When you add the garlic, it’s a good idea to move the pan off the heat to begin with, keeping the contents of the pan moving, and only put it back onto the heat for the last thirty seconds – that way the garlic will start to cook but won’t burn.
- Keeping the pan on the heat, add half of the chopped parsley and stir it through the mix. Then add the tomato puree and stir this through, cooking for about a minute.
- Add the can of tomatoes and stir it through the mix, breaking down the tomatoes with a spoon. Cook on a low-medium heat for about fifteen to twenty minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by about half.
You’re aiming for a thick sauce that holds its shape when you push it around the pan – these beans aren’t meant to be runny! Using good quality tinned tomatoes really makes a difference to the flavour and texture of the sauce.
- Add the sugar to the pan and stir well. Cook for a further five minutes.
I only use a small amount of sugar in these beans, but you can add as much as you like. Add with caution and keep tasting!
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Then add the rest of the chopped parsley and stir well. Remove the bay leaf from the pan.
- Drain the cannellini beans and rinse them well with water. Add them to the pan and heat through – you may need to turn up the heat at this point to get the beans nice and hot.
Once the beans have been added, stir the sauce through gently so that they don’t break up.
Once the beans are piping hot, serve them up with some nice crusty toast, or as part of a fry-up. They also make a good base for an Italian-style sausage casserole!