Side Dishes

Tuscan Beans (serves 4)

I ate this dish in a restaurant in the charming medieval hilltop town of Montepulciano in Tuscany. Everything about the meal was memorable – the view over the lush countryside as far as the eye could see, the friendly service and excellent Italian food – simple but delicious. The cannellini beans are cooked in chicken broth with some finely chopped rosemary and are sprinkled with small crisp pieces of prosciutto and fried sage. I serve them alongside chicken.

Cook time – 15 minutes

2 slices of prosciutto – cut into very small pieces

2 tsps. olive oil

1 tbsp. roughly chopped sage

1 x can of cannellini beans – rinsed and drained

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 tbsp. chopped rosemary

Pinch of white pepper

Heat a skillet and when hot add the pieces of prosciutto and let them crisp. Remove from pan and set aside on some paper towel to absorb any fat.

Pour 2 tsps. olive oil into skillet and repeat the process above with the sage.

Remove any grease from the pan, tip in the beans, broth and rosemary and season with white pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes before adding the prosciutto and sage. Cook a couple of minutes longer. Serve immediately.

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