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22 - Tuscan White Beans in Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

This Mediterranean-inspired dish is a perfect example of radically simple summer cooking. Succulent zucchini and spinach napped in a quick sauce with tender white beans and fresh basil makes a glorious dish to serve on pasta, rice, or polenta.


Just add a crisp salad and a tumbler of good red wine and you have a lovely meal to enjoy on a summer evening. Read the Tuscan farmhouse recipe here:



1 1/2 cups sun-dried tomatoes (not oil packed)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups thinly sliced zucchini or summer squash
3 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
3 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (or about 4 cups cooked cannellini beans, if you prefer using dried and doing them yourself)
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
Salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil


1. Cover the sun-dried tomatoes in warm water in a small bowl and allow to soak for about an hour until softened. Drain off the water and chop the tomatoes coarsely.


2. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until onion is soft and translucent, about 4 minutes.


3. Add squash and cook until just crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add spinach, beans, tomatoes, water, sage, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes, stirring to combine. Cook for 10 minutes, then stir in the basil and remove pan from heat.


4. Serve on pasta, rice, or polenta.


Serves 6.