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Fresh borlotti bean recipe, Italian-style

This Italian-style recipe uses fresh borlotti beans, sage, cherry tomatoes, and lots of garlic!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: bean stew, beans, borlotti, Italian, stew
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 600kcal
Author: Gitanjali


For the beans

  • 800 g fresh borlotti beans shelled
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic sliced
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • chili flakes to taste
  • 10 cherry tomatoes cut in half

For the garlic breadcrumbs

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp panko or breadcrumbs
  • 1 clove garlic minced

For the toppings

  • 4 tbsp fresh ricotta cheese
  • chili flakes to taste
  • high-quality olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped finely


For the beans

  • After peeling the borlotti beans, boil them in a large pot of water until the beans are very soft and tender. Cooking time will depend on the freshness of your beans, but can take anywhere between 20 and 50 minutes. Turn off the beans and set aside, but do not strain or throw the bean water away!
  • In a medium saucepan that's big enough to fit all the beans, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic, sage leaves, and chili flakes (I use about 1 tsp). Fry on medium heat until fragrant (but don't let the garlic burn).
  • Add the cherry tomatoes, cut side down. Cook until the tomatoes become jammy, approximately 5 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans into the saucepan with the tomatoes. Include enough bean water for the beans to be fully covered.
  • Cook on medium heat until the beans start to become very soft and creamy. The water should turn into a creamy, thick sauce as it cooks down. Feel free to mash some of the beans with the back of your spoon so that they can thicken the sauce. This can take anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes, depending on how thick or soupy you want your beans to be.

For the garlic breadcrumbs

  • In a pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the breadcrumbs and cook until they start to become golden-brown. Towards the end, add the minced garlic. Cook for 30 seconds to release the flavors of the garlic. Turn off the heat and mix well.

To serve:

  • Spoon the beans into 4 big bowls. Top with 1 tbsp of ricotta cheese in each bowl. Sprinkle with garlic breadcrumbs, fresh parsley, a drizzle of olive oil, fleur de sel, and chili flakes.


Calorie count is approximate