Fagioli – Beans [Phaseolus spp & Vigna spp]
*non-GMO & gluten-free
The common bean is an herbaceous annual legume original from Central and South America. Although this plant is among world’s oldest cultivated crops, it was only around 1500 that beans firstly appeared in Europe thanks to Portuguese and Spanish navigators that imported them from Latin America. While, at the beginning of 1600 beans were mainly consumed by rich noble classes, during the following centuries this legume has become a very popular cooking ingredient as it was easy to grow, affordable and particularly rich in protein.
All beans varieties are very nutritious, rich in vitamin A, B, C and E and contain minerals and trace elements such as potassium, iron, calcium, zinc and phosphorus. Beans are also rich in lecithin, a phospholipid that promotes the emulsification of fats, preventing their accumulation in the blood and thereby reducing cholesterol levels.
Because of their low glycaemic index, which promotes a gradual absorption of carbohydrates by the body, beans are particularly suitable for diabetics. Furthermore, they are low in fat and high in protein, properties that make them a valid alternative to meat consumption by providing a balanced diet, in particular the ratio between carbohydrates, lipids and proteins.
MAIAORGANIC Beans selection:
have been grown in :
Black-eyed Peas belong to “Vigna” genus and are native to the Mediterranean regions. In Italy they have been grown since a thousand years before the common bean, so they can be considered a native product. Characterized by their light coloured skin and the small black eye, they have a very delicate flavour. They are excellent in soups or simply boiled and dressed with a drizzle of olive oil.
How to prepare: 8 hours of soaking + around 60 minutes of cooking
Borlotti Beans present an oblong shape and a mottled red and cream colour. This variety of Borlotti, called “lingua di fuoco” is bred in Piedmont, where it is considered a typical product. Tasteful with a quite robust texture, they are particularly suitable for salads and for the great classic Italian dish, “Pasta e Fagioli”.
How to prepare: 8 hours of soaking + around 60 minutes of cooking
Cannellini Beans have a completely white outer shell and an elongated shape, even if originally from Argentina, they have been growing in Italy for ages by now. Their delicate flavour makes them ideal for salads and soups.
How to prepare: 12 hours of soaking + around 60 minutes of cooking
Red Beans outer skin is red amaranth and remains crunchy, while the interior tends to become mealy when cooked. They go well with cereals in soups, as well as in salads; moreover, they are widely used in traditional Mexican cooking (enchiladas, burritos).
How to prepare: 12 hours of soaking + around 60 minutes of cooking
Black Beans are smaller, almost round and their shell is black with a small white eye. This bean variety presents a delicious spicy flavour that adapts very well in rice dishes with spicy sauces. They can be used as main dishes in different Creole recipes, such as "Moros y Cristianos" or “Feijoada”.
How to prepare: 8 hours of soaking + around 60 minutes of cooking
Black eye beans risotto
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 320 g carnaroli rice, 1 onion, 1 carrot, ½ stick of celery, 200 g of black eye beans, ½ clove of garlic, 1 bay leaf, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil , 1 bunch chopped parsley
Cooking Instructions: peel the onion and the garlic and slice ½ of the onion. Peel and dice the carrot and the celery. Cook the beans according to the basic recipe, as well as adding the chopped vegetables. Drain the beans and set aside the cooking water. Chop the remaining part of the onion and sautee it in a pan with oil, subsequently adding the beans and let everything cook together. Add the rice, toast it and cook it, adding the water used to cook the beans, a ladle at a time. Remove from the flame, add the chopped parsley and serve.
Black eye beans sauteed with bacon, shrimp and mixed salad
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 200 g black eye beans, 1 bay leaf, 1 clove of garlic, 8 shrimp, 1 large slice of bacon, 200 g mixed salad, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper.
Cooking Instructions: cook the black eyed peas in water according to the basic recipe. Once cooked, drain and put them aside. Steam the prawns for 3 or 4 minutes, then fry the sliced bacon with oil, then add the beans. Season it with salt and pepper and cook some more. Serve the shrimp together with the black-eyed beans on a nest of salad, that has been dressed with balsamic vinegar and oil
Black eye beans and mushroom croquettes
Ingredients (for 8 croquettes): 200 g black eyed beans, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 350 g mushrooms, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 or 2 seeded and chopped chilli peppers, 1 teaspoon cumin, 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour, salt and pepper, batter, 1 small beaten egg, corn flour, a little oil
Cooking Instructions: heat the oil in a large frying pan and lightly simmer the mushrooms, garlic, chilis and cumin for 5-6 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Sprinkle them with flour. Cook on low flame stirring for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the flame, add the beans (previously boiled following the basic recipe) and season well. The mixture should be soft, but not liquid. Store in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Form the mixture into 8 croquettes. Dip them in the beaten egg and then coat them in corn flour. Fry them for a few minutes in hot oil, continually turning them. Serve hot.
Pappardelle soup and black eye beans
Ingredients (makes 4 servings) 200 g egg noodle pasta “pappardelle”, 250 g black eye beans, 1 onion, 1 stalk celery, 1 carrot, 2 bay leaves, 50 g bacon, 2 ripe tomatoes, vegetable broth, 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper Cooking Instructions: finely chop the onion, celery and carrot. Cut the bacon into small pieces. Heat up some oil in a pan, add the chopped vegetables and bacon and, add the bay leaf. Let fry until the bacon fat has melted. Add the previously soaked beans, pour a ladle of broth and let it evaporate, then remove the bay leaf. Cover with 1 and a half liters of rich broth, add finely chopped tomatoes, without their skins, salt and pepper and cook over moderate flame, stirring occasionally. Fifteen minutes before removing from heat, add the coarsely chopped pasta, salt and pepper and finish cooking.
Venetian pasta and beans
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 300 g tagliatelle (egg flat noodle) pasta, 1 onion, 300 g borlotti beans, 1 celery stalk, 1 carrot, 100 g lard, 1.75 lt meat broth.
Cooking Instructions: dice the carrot, celery and onion. Prepare a mixture with the lard. Cook the beans according to the basic recipe with the hot broth, the lard mixture and the chopped vegetables. When the beans are ready, blend half of them in a mixer. Put the blended beans back in the pot, add the pasta and cook for 7-8 minutes. When cooked, add the remaining beans and serve.
Risotto with beans and milk
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 320 g carnaroli rice, 150 g borlotti beans, 2 onions, 2 bay leaves, 1.5 dl milk, 1 clove of garlic, 20 g butter, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
Cooking Instructions: cook the beans according to the basic recipe, also adding to the cooking water the bay leaves, 1 sliced onion and the garlic. When finished, drain them and put them aside. In the meantime, peel and finely slice the remaining part of the onion and then sautee it in a pan with oil. Add the rice and toast it for 2 minutes, stirring. Pour in the hot milk, flavoured with a pinch of salt and pepper a little at a time, and cook the risotto. Halfway through cooking, add the beans and stir. Remove the pan from the flame and stir the risotto adding the butter. Let it rest for a few minutes and serve.
Roman bean salad
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 8 anchovy fillets in olive oil, 1 glass of red wine vinegar, 1 clove garlic 1 red onion, borlotti beans 350 g, 5-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil olive oil, 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme, salt and pepper.
Cooking Instructions: cook the beans according to the basic recipe, then refrigerate them. Peel and thinly slice the onion, then place it in a bowl with a glass of wine vinegar covering it with cold water, let it soak for about half an hour, then drain it. Meanwhile, finely chop the garlic and anchovies. Pour the oil into a bowl and add the chopped anchovies and garlic, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, salt and pepper and thyme: beat lightly with a fork to evenly mix all of the ingredients. Pour the beans into a bowl, add the onion, then add the anchovy-garlic dressing; mix everything together and serve, garnishing the plates with fresh ground pepper and thyme leaves (without which you can use oregano).
Red mullet fish with beans and asparagus
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 1 clove garlic, 1 onion, 1 tomato, 1 bay leaf, 250 g borlotti beans, 8 scaled and filleted mullet, salt, olive oil, 100 g Asparagus.
Cooking Instructions: boil the beans according to the basic recipe, also adding the garlic, the onion, tomatoes, the bay leaf to the water. Once cooked, remove the vegetables and put the beans in a saucepan with a little stock. Sautee the chopped asparagus in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt for two minutes, then add them to the beans. Meanwhile, heat a pan with two pinches of salt and pour in a little olive oil. Then sear the fish on the side (skin up). Arrange a bed of beans and asparagus on a plate and lay the grilled fish on top. Serve immediately after cooking.
Cannellini beans with sage
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 2 cloves of garlic, 350 g cannellini beans, olive oil, pepper, 200 g peeled tomatoes, salt, 1 sprig of sage.
Cooking Instructions: boil the beans according to the basic recipe. Sautee the garlic in a pan with some oil, and the sprig of sage. Also add the tomatoes and cook everything until you get a fairly thick sauce. Then add the beans that you have previously boiled, and salt and pepper to taste, then simmer for at least 15 minutes. Once it is ready, serve hot.
Spelt with cannellini beans and smoked duck breast
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 300 g pearl barley, 250 g Cannellini beans, 300 g smoked duck breast, 2 leeks, 2 juniper berries, 1 tablespoon of flax seeds, 1 sprig of thyme, 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
Cooking Instructions: boil the beans according to the basic recipe, then drain them and set them aside. Rinse the pearl barley under cold running water, then boil it for 40 minutes, adding salt almost at the end of cooking. Clean the leeks by removing their root, the outer leaves and end green parts. Wash them, slice them and gently cook for 2-3 minutes in a sauté pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix the remaining oil with the juniper berries, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper and let the dressing marinade for at least 15 minutes. Toast the flax seeds in a pan without any seasoning. Stir the spelt in a bowl with the cannellini beans, leeks, and oil dressing. Then transfer it onto the plates, adding the slices of duck breast. Sprinkle the plates with flax seeds, garnish them with the thyme leaves and serve.
Crown of rice and cannellini beans
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 300 g carnaroli rice, 200 g cannellini beans, 1 carrot, 3 bay leaves, 20 g parmesan cheese, 1 sage leaf, 2 sprigs of parsley, 1 onion, 60 g butter, 100ml white wine, 100 ml vegetable stock, ½ stalk of celery, 1 clove of garlic, salt and pepper.
Cooking Instructions: boil the beans according to the basic recipe, also adding the carrot, ½ of the onion sliced, celery pieces, sage, 1 bay leaf, garlic and chopped parsley water to cook. Add salt after it has finished cooking. Drain the beans and blend them with 1 bay leaf. Then pour them in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Prepare the rice as a normal risotto, with ½ chopped onion, 20 g of butter, white wine and hot stock, then stir in 30 g of butter and Parmesan cheese. Butter a ring mold, pour in the risotto. Turn over the ring mold onto a serving dish, place the hot, creamy beans in the centre and serve.
Cannellini beans in squid ink
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 300 g cannellini beans, 500 g cuttlefish or squid, half a sweet red pepper, half a sweet green pepper, 1 onion, 1 big tomato, 1 glass of white wine, squid ink, 1 bay leaf, extra virgin olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 egg.
Cooking Instructions: cook the beans according to the basic recipe, also adding the bay leaf and a clove of garlic to the water. Once the beans are cooked, add salt, drain them and set them aside. Chop the onion, peppers and tomatoes and sautee them in a pan. Add some wine to the sautee pan, then blend the vegetables and put them back on the flame. Add the squid ink and continue cooking. Clean the cuttlefish, and let them brown in a skillet with a little oil. Mix them into the previously prepared sauce. Let it cook slowly for about 30-40 minutes. If necessary, add a little water and some salt. Drain the beans, lay the cuttlefish and their sauce over the beans and serve.
Spicy black bean soup with cinnamon
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 2 cloves garlic, 2 bay leaves, 1 lt chicken (or vegetable) broth, ground cinnamon, 1 onion, 350 g black beans, 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil , 150 g smoked bacon, pepper, 1 fresh hot chilli pepper, 150 g vine tomatoes, salt.
Cooking Instructions: soak the beans in cold water, rinse and drain. Heat some oil in a pan, and sautee the hot pepper (whole or chopped), the chopped onion and garlic , the whole piece of bacon and the bay leaves; Sautee everything on low flame and then add the diced tomatoes, the cinnamon and finally the black beans. Add the chicken broth and cook for about 45 minutes over low heat, covering the pan with a lid, and leaving a small vent. When the beans finished cooking, season them with salt and pepper. Serve the soup accompanied with slices of toasted bread.
Shrimp and black beans appetizers
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 500 g shrimp, 150 g black beans, 1 whole orange and the juice from 3 oranges, juice from 1 lemon, 1.5 dl olive oil, 1 bunch of chopped chives, salt and white pepper.
Cooking Instructions: cook the beans according to the basic recipe, then drain them, and transfer them into a bowl. Dress them with 4 tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Wash the oranges, cut them into slices and divide them in two parts. Shell and de-vein the shrimp, and let them marinate in the orange juice (setting aside 3 tablespoons), for 30 minutes. Beat the remaining juice with salt, pepper, the remaining oil and a some of the chives. Drain the shrimp, toss with the orange dressing, and arrange them on a serving dish. Put the beans around them, garnish it with the remaining chives and orange slices, and serve.
Calamari with potatoes and black beans
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 250 g potatoes, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 onion, 6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped parsley, 800 g calamari, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, 1 cup of white wine, 300 g black beans.
Cooking Instructions: boil the beans according to the basic recipe. Peel the potatoes, cut them into cubes, and soak them in cold water. Peel and chop the onion and garlic. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes. Clean the squid well and cut them into small pieces. In a frying pan, heat a little oil and simmer the garlic, chopped tomatoes and parsley. Season with salt and add the squid, stir and cook for about 8-10 minutes. Pour in some white wine and let it evaporate. Combine the black beans, add salt and cook for 5 minutes with the lid on. Meanwhile, drain the potatoes well and fry in olive oil. Serve the dishes with the fried potatoes on the bottom and place the beans and squid on top.
Black beans and truffle – stuffed artichokes
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 200 g black beans, 12 small artichokes, 1 fresh truffles, 1 clove of garlic, salt and pepper.
Cooking Instructions: boil the beans according to the basic recipe, also adding garlic to the cooking water. Once cooked, add some salt, drain and set aside. Clean the artichokes and remove the hearts. Discard the central parts and cook them in boiling water with juice from half a lemon juice and a tablespoon of flour until they are tender, then drain. Warm up 2 tbl of extra virgin olive oil, add a garlic clove that must be discarded as soon as it turns slightly blond. When the oil is almost cool, add the grated truffle and season with salt and pepper to taste. Fill the artichokes with the beans, cover them with grated truffles. Serve
Moros y cristianos
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 2 large cups of black beans, 1 onion, garlic, 2 sweet peppers, olive oil, 2 cups of long aromatic rice, cumin, bay leaf, vinegar, extra virgin olive oil.
Cooking Instructions: boil the beans according to the basic recipe. Meanwhile, sautee the onion, garlic, and sweet peppers in a pan with olive oil. Drain the beans and set aside the cooking water. In a saucepan, add the rice, 3 cups of black water (water from cooking the beans), the garlic, cumin, bay leaf, a little vinegar and drained beans. Cook for 20 minutes, covered with a lid.
Ingredients (for 8 burritos): 1 onion, 250 g black beans, 100 g mushrooms, 150 g corn, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, 1 red sweet pepper, 1 tomato, 1 zucchini, 8 tortillas.
Cooking Instructions: boil the beans according to the basic recipe. Boil the corn, as well, separately. Chop the onion, zucchini, tomato, sweet pepper, mushrooms and sautee them in a pan. Cook the vegetables over low heat adding water or vegetable broth, and finally, add the cooked and drained beans and corn. Season with salt and pepper and cook covered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Heat the tortillas in a pan, put a bit of the vegetable stew mix in the middle and roll the tortilla, forming a tube, then folding the other two sides, form a pocket. The burritos can be served with guacamole sauce,
bean cream, and sour cream.
Ingredients for the tortillas dough: 120 ml warm water, 250g soft flour, 10 g baking powder, 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, salt
Cooking Instructions: in a bowl, place the flour, baking powder, oil and add little by little warm water in which you have melted a pinch of salt, mix the ingredients with your hands. Put the dough on a pastry board and knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is an even ball, place it in a bowl and let rise for 15 minutes. Form 8 balls weighing 50 g each; with a rolling pin roll out each ball to form a thin round disk.
Rice with beans and bacon
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 320 g carnaroli rice, 150 g bacon, 1 cabbage, 100 g red beans, 60 g butter, 2 cloves of garlic, 20 g grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, white wine.
Cooking Instructions: boil the red beans according to the basic recipe and then drain. Peel and wash the cabbage and then blanch for a few minutes in salted boiling water. Drain, remove the central part and cut into strips. In the same water, boil the rice. Meanwhile, peel two cloves of garlic and sautee them in a pan with butter. Remove the garlic and then sautee the bacon, cut into strips, in the same pan. As soon as it becomes clear, add some white wine, the cabbage slices, and beans. Drain the rice, season it with the bacon, cabbage and bean sauce, grated parmesan, a pinch of pepper, and serve.
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 500 g red beans, 1 cabbage, 150 g sausage, 6 slices of lean bacon, 1 leek, 1 carrot, 1 onion, vegetable broth.
Cooking Instructions: soak the beans and then boil them in vegetable broth. When the stew is half-way cooked, add the sausage and bacon. Cook for about half an hour then take out the sausages. Cook the chopped cabbage in boiling water thoroughly, and when it is cooked, drain well, season with salt, and pepper, and mix it with the sausage. Place on a serving platter or metal tray. Bake it all in the oven at 180 ° C until the cabbage and other ingredients are golden brown. Prepare the dishes by placing the mixture of cabbage, sausage and bacon on the bottom, and dressing them with beans seasoned with salt and oil.
Gnocchetti and beans
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 2-3 slices of stale bread, 450 g white flour, 400 g red beans, 30 g butter, 2 onions, 400 g peeled tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper, some basil leaves .
Cooking Instructions: soften the slices of bread in warm water, squeeze and crumble into a bowl, knead the bread with the flour until it becomes a smooth and even dough. Divide into even rolls, not bigger than the size of a thumb. Cut each roll into pieces about 2 inches long and give them the classic shape of gnocchetti. Meanwhile, boil the beans according to the basic recipe, adding an onion, peeled and cut into wedges, and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the cooking water. Then prepare the sauce in a pot by frying a chopped onion with 30 g of butter and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Pour in the boiled and drained beans. Let them cook for a few moments, and then add the tomato pulp, crushing it with a fork, salt, pepper and let it finish cooking. Boil the dumplings for 2-3 minutes salted water, drain well and pour into a bowl. Toss with bean sauce, stir well and serve garnished with basil leaves.
Cuban-style frijoles rojo
Ingredients (makes 4 servings): 2 large cups of red beans, 1 onion, 1 garlic, 1 sweet red pepper, 1 green pepper, 4 red tomatoes, 2 potatoes, 100 g pumpkin, cumin, vinegar, red wine, sugar.
Cooking Instructions: boil the beans according to the basic recipe. Meanwhile, in a pan, sautee the chopped garlic, onion, peppers, and tomatoes with a little oil. Then add the potatoes and pumpkin – cut into cubes, cumin, a little vinegar, red wine and a teaspoon of sugar; Cook on high heat for 10 minutes. Drain the beans when they begin to soften, but keep the cooking water. Add the drained beans to the vegetables and finish cooking over low heat, uncovered, adding the beans’ cooking water little by little.
Ingredients (for 4 people): 150 g red beans, 250 g ripe tomatoes, 400 g lean beef, extra virgin olive oil, salt, 1 onion, your choice of hot chilli pepper, 1 green pepper, 1 clove of garlic.
Cooking Instructions: boil the beans according to the base recipe. Meanwhile, grind the meat and peel and chop the onion and garlic. Cut the pepper in half, remove seeds and internal filaments, and cut it into small pieces. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for one minute, remove the skin and seeds and chop them. In a saucepan, sautee the onion and peppers with a little olive oil, then add the meat and brown it. Add two ladles of boiling water, the tomatoes, the chilli pepper, garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook covered on medium heat for about 45 minutes. Then remove the lid and cook for another half hour, adding a little hot water if too dry. When it has finished cooking add the cooked and drained beans and let them simmer together for a few minutes.