Shelly Beans with Pasta and Sage

based on a recipe from Local Flavors by Deborah Madison

  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 bay leaves, 1 parsley sprig, and a few thyme sprigs, tied together
  • 2 Tbs chopped sage
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • shelled fresh cranberry beans
  • 5-6 cups vegetable stock, chicken stock, or water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 pound pasta (shells are great)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Heat oil in a wide pan or casserole with onion, herb bundle and sage and cook over medium heat for 8 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add garlic, beans, enough liquid to cover by 2 inches, and 1 tsp salt.  Simmer, covered, until beans are soft, about 40 minutes.  Check occasionally to make sure they’re covered with liquid.
  2. Remove herb bundle from the beans.  Mash or puree about half the beans, then return them to the pan and thin with a little extra stock or water.  Taste again for salt and season with pepper.
  3. Cook pasta until just tender.  Drain and add to beans.  Add parsley, taste for salt and pepper and toss well.  Serve with a little sage or olive oil drizzled on top and some Parmesan cheese.

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