White Beans in Tomato Sauce

This lush, stewlike dish is typically made with zolfini beans, a pale yellow Tuscan legume that can be challenging to find in the U.S.; firm, creamy cannellini beans are an excellent substitute. More Hearty Stews

White Beans in Tomato Sauce
Photo: © Martin Morrell
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs


  • 2 cups dried zolfini or cannellini beans, picked over and rinsed

  • 1 sage sprig, plus 1/2 teaspoon chopped sage

  • 2 garlic cloves, 1 minced

  • 1 small bay leaf

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Salt

  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce

  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Cover the beans with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Cover and remove from the heat. Let stand for 1 hour, then drain.

  2. Cover the beans with 4 inches of fresh water. Add the sage sprig, whole garlic clove, bay leaf and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Bring to a boil and cook over moderately low heat for 30 minutes. Season the beans with salt and cook for about 15 minutes longer, until the beans are tender; drain and discard the sage, garlic and bay leaf.

  3. Meanwhile, in a medium, deep skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of oil. Add the chopped sage and minced garlic and cook over moderate heat for 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer.

  4. Add the beans to the skillet and cook, stirring, until saucy and thick, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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