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Recipes Around the World International Vegetarian Union
Vegan Italian Recipes
Contributed by Vegetarians and Vegans from around the world
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Fagioli all'uccellotta
From: Noelle Foster - Troy, NY, USA

aka, Beans, Little Bird-style. A traditional Tuscan recipe based on a recipe for squab. Traditionally calls for spicy sausage if you'd like to incorporate veggie links, but outstanding without it.

  • Cannellini or other large soft bean, soaked, drained and simmered, cooking liquid reserved
  • Roma tomatoes, peeled and crushed (canned ok)
  • Fresh garlic, crushed (bottled or garlic powder NOT ok)
  • Onions, sliced
  • Red Wine
  • Sage, preferably fresh
  • Hot paprika or peperoncino (a small, hot, dry pepper; traditional to Italian cooking)
  • Bay Leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Good quality olive oil (critical; must be fragrant and flavourful)
  • Leeks, cleaned thoroughly and sliced into fine slices; almost shreds.

In a large frying pan, heat olive oil to medium. Saute the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the beans along with a little bit of the simmering liquid (less than a cup) and the rest of the ingredients. (If using fresh sage, hold it until about 20 minutes before done.) Simmer covered over low heat about half an hour. Check seasoning, adjust, and simmer uncovered until fairly thick. If it thickens too much add more of the cooking liquid or a small can of tomato sauce for extra tomato punch. It should be the consistency of a rich, thick stew. Fish out the peperoncino (if used) and the bay leaf. Garnish with leeks and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with good crusty bread.

Closing comments: All quantities are relative to personal taste. I use a pound of dried beans with 3 cans of tomatoes, 4 medium onions, a head (yes, the whole head) of garlic and about half a cup of wine. It should be mildly spicy with a rich aroma of wine and sage. It can be made with canned beans; replace cooking liquid with stock, water, or diluted plain canned tomato sauce.