Canned beans are one of the few canned foods I really like, and I often use them instead of dried beans in soups, stews, and even salads to save on soaking and cooking time. In this easy recipe, I braise cannellini beans with onions, garlic, and a hint of tomato, and throw in arugula for an earthy flavor and silky texture.
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 dried red chili peppers or 1⁄4 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 medium purple onion, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 bunch arugula, washed, dried, and stemmed
- 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed thoroughly, and drained again
- Heat the olive oil in a 1-quart pot over a medium-high flame.
- Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly; the garlic should become aromatic and just lightly golden (do not burn it or it will taste acrid).
- Stir in the chili pepper and cook 15 more seconds.
- Add the onion and cook, still stirring, about 2 minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent and soft.
- Stir in the pepper and parsley and cook 1 more minute.
- Fold in the rinsed and drained beans, and then stir in the tomato paste.
- Add enough cool water (or chicken broth if you happen to have it on hand) to cover the beans by 1/4 inch (about 1 and 1/2 cups, depending on the width of your pot).
- Season with the salt and bring to a gentle boil, uncovered.
- Cover and lower the heat to medium-low; cook for 5 minutes.
- Uncover, stir in the arugula, and cover again.
- Cook for another 15 minutes.
- Adjust the seasoning if needed and serve hot.