Making these wholly delicious beans is easy, but making them look as good as they taste is impossible, so just trust me and make them. All you need is:
- 1 brown onion
- 3 smoked garlic cloves
- 1 Tbsp duck fat or lard (or olive oil as a last resort)
- 1 can diced tomatoes (400g can)
- 30ml red wine (optional)
- 2 cans cannellini beans in water (210g per can)
- Salt & black pepper
- ½ tsp Spanish smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp hot chilli powder (more if you like it hot)
This makes quite a lot of beans, so unless you are serving 12 people, you may want to make half a batch.
Cut the onion into medium dice, about half the size of the beans. (yes, in the picture, I sliced them, but that’s because I was making the beans as a base for my wonderful meatballs) Peel and chop the garlic quite fine. Heat the fat in a saucepan and when it sizzles, fry the onions until they start to soften, about 3 minutes. I usually try not to brown my onion, as I find it makes them too sweet for this recipe. Once the onions are starting to soften, add the garlic and continue to fry for another 2-3 minutes. Add the paprika and chilli and stir to mix well.
Now add the can of tomatoes, juice and all. Stir to mix and once it starts to boil, add the wine. Leave the sauce to reduce and thicken. Drain the beans, keeping a little of the water. The easiest way to do this is to open the can a little and pour off everything that will flow out. The beans do not need additional cooking, they just want to be heated through.
Once the beans are warm, after about 3 minutes, you’re ready to serve.
NOTE: These beans are delicious on their own, but they also make a great base for a tapas dish. Toss some prawns in garlic and herb butter and add them to the beans, or simmer some thickly sliced chorizo in the beans, or fry some meatballs and pour the beans over and garnish with parsley before serving.
P.S.: You may have noticed that the pictures are all wrong, but the general idea is the same…