First Appeared in Gourmet Magazine in January 2009
• 2 cups dried cannellini beans—we used these beautiful orca beans and have also used cannellinis which are equally good
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 2 garlic cloves, smashed
• 1 bay leaf
• 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 tablespoon dried marjoram—we used thyme and both are great
• 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumb, toasted—we omitted this for 100 mile purposes
1. Rinse the beans well in a colander, picking out any broken beans and pebbles.
2. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plenty of cool water, and let soak for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
3. Drain the beans and transfer to a 3 qt pot and add water to cover by 1 to 2 inches.
4. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface.
5. Adjust the heat to a slow simmer and cook uncovered, skimming as needed for 2 hours or until beans are tender (it might be necessary to add more water).
6. Remove from the heat, stir in the salt and let the beans stand in their cooking liquid for 30 minutes.
7. Drain the beans, reserving 3/4 cup of cooking liquid.
8. In a pot, heat the olive oil over med heat.
9. Add garlic, bay leaf and oregano and cook for 3 minutes or until the garlic begins to soften.
10. Stir in the beans and 3/4 cup cooking liquid and simmer, stirring gently, for about 4 minutes, or until the beans achieve a creamy consistency.
11. The beans should not be as thick as mashed potatoes, but they should just hold their shape if spooned onto a piece of bread.
12. If the beans are too thick, stir in a little water and continue to cook.
13. Stir in marjoram, taste for seasoning, and add salt if needed.
14. Remove from the heat.
15. At this point beans can be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week, reheat gently before serving.
16. To serve, pour beans into a warmed serving bowl, or ladle them into warmed individual bowls. Top with bread crumbs and a drizzle of olive oil.
17. Serve immediately.
***A16 Food and Wine