Dried white cannellini beans 1 lb.
Extra virgin olive oil 1/3 cup
Fresh sage or 2-3 Tbsp.
fresh rosemary 6” branch
Bay leaves 2 ea.
Red pepper flakes ½ tsp.
Salt 1 tsp.
Pepper, cracked black to taste
1. Sort and wash the beans of any debris and dust and then soak them overnight under refrigeration in 3 times the volume of water as beans.
2. Discard any beans that float or which appear wrinkled and misshapen. Drain the soaking water and reserve. Place the beans in a 3-quart pot and cover with only enough of the soaking water to cover the beans. Bring the beans to a boil and skim the pot of any foam that rises with the boil.
3. Reduce the heat to the barest simmer, add the remaining ingredients, and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid. It is possible, with a low fire, that the beans will take 2 to 2½ hours to cook. Check the water level on the beans every 20 minutes and add more water as needed to keep the beans covered. As the beans approach tenderness, give them ever less liquid—the ideal would be a finished pot of moist, tender beans without excessive cooking liquid.
4. Once the beans are tender, adjust the seasoning and serve them with a drizzle of olive oil, some chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice. If you intend to store the beans for later, keep them in their cooking liquid, cover, and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Note:When evaluating your beans for doneness, mash a single bean between your fingers. When cooked properly the pulp should be velvety without any white chalkiness in evidence. You could also add these beans to a pasta dish, a soup, or almost any dish where you want the full flavor and melting tenderness of some really well cooked beans. The cooking liquid is every bit as delicious as the beans themselves. Don’t waste it.