SERVES 6–8: as a side · vegan, gluten free, leftovers friendly, freezer friendly.
By cooking the beans both on the stove and in the oven, they develop a super-rich, tomatoey flavour. Baking them also crisps up the top layer, providing a great contrast with the mushiness underneath. Forget those sickly sweet tinned baked beans (kidding, they are obviously still delicious and should never be totally ditched). These are a little more special. Make ’em for a big brekkie spread, or just on a slow Sunday to eat on toast throughout the week. I love them with a side of greens and polenta for dinner, too.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp dried rosemary, or 1 small handful fresh rosemary, chopped
200 g cherry tomatoes, diced, or 4 ripe roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
2 × 400 g tins cannellini beans (including soaking liquid)
2 × 400 g tins good-quality tomatoes (I use cherry tomatoes)
1 tbsp sugar
1 large handful fresh basil, chopped, plus extra to serve
Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F).
Heat a frying pan with the olive oil and add the onion. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, rosemary and fresh tomatoes, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for a further couple of minutes.
Add the beans (including their soaking liquid), tinned tomatoes and sugar. Reduce the heat and cook for about 10 minutes, until simmering.
Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and stir the basil through. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired. Bake for 40–60 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened and browning on top, stirring once halfway through cooking.
Serve sprinkled with extra basil.
Note: Butterbeans are a great substitute for cannellini beans in this recipe.
This recipe is shared with permission from The Shared Table by Clare Scrine, published by Smith Street Books. Photography © Savannah van der Niet.