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Tuscan Baked Beans (Fagioli Al Forno)

Dried white haricot {dried white) beans are immensely popular in northern Italy, particularly in Tuscany, where they form part of many of the classic dishes of the area.

ingredients

serves 6
1/2 kg (1 lb) 2 2/3 cups Dried white haricot (dried white) beans, soaked overnight and drained
3 Garlic cloves, crushed
3 Tbs Chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
8 slices Streaky (fatty) bacon, coarsely chopped

method

1. Preheat the oven to very cool 140°C (Gas Mark 1, 275°F).

2. Place the beans, garlic, basil, seasoning, cinnamon and bacon in a large ovenproof casserole. Stir and add just enough water to cover the mixture. Cover and put the casserole into the oven. Bake for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until the beans are very tender but still firm.

3. Remove from the oven, strain off any excess liquid and serve at once.

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