Fasolia Gigantes (Butter Bean Stew)
This was one of my Dad’s favorites – if you can’t find, or don’t like Butter Beans, Cappellini Beans work just fine. We actually cook the beans direct from dry in a pressure cooker for 5 minutes, let the steam naturally release over time and then cook them as below. I love dill, but if you don’t you can use parsley instead:
- 1 1/2 Pounds Dried butter beans
- 1/2 Cup Pure olive oil
- 2 Medium Onions — finely chopped
- 1 Each Garlic clove — pressed
- 3 Large Ripe tomatoes — peeled, seeded & diced
- 3/4 Cup Tomato sauce
- 6 Tablespoons Fresh Dill — minced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Cups Water
Put the beans in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, partly covered, for about 1 hour, or until beans are almost tender. Drain and set aside. Or use pressure cooker method: put beans in pressure cooker with 3 inches of water above the beans and cook for 5 minutes at high pressure then slow release the steam
Preheat oven to 400F.
In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil and saute the onions until translucent. Add the garlic, tomatoes, tomato sauce, dill, salt and pepper, and water. Simmer, covered, over low heat for about 20 minutes, until sauce starts to thicken. Transfer the beans to a casserole or baking dish, pour the tomato mixture over, and stir.
Bake for about 40 minutes, until the beans are tender and the sauce is thick. Serve warm or at room temperature – room temperature is how you get in in the Taverna in Greece.