Walter Haugen, owners of F.A. Farms, 5890 Barr Road near Ferndale, says: “Fagioli is usually made with dried cannellini beans, but I discovered this variation when I let some of my Romanos go a little long on the vine. Shelled fresh beans are a new taste sensation for me, but I have become quite enthusiastic about them because of this dish.”
FAGIOLI WITH ROMANO BEANS
2 cups shelled Romano beans
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½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves
1 sprig fresh sage or ½ teaspoon dried sage
4-6 ripe tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Place the beans in a large saucepan of cold water and bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the salt. Simmer for 30 minutes. Drain and reserve a cup of the liquid, in case you need it later.
Cut the garlic cloves in half and put in a large saucepan with the sage and the remaining oil. Gently heat to infuse the flavors, but do not fry. Add the tomato and simmer for 10 minutes, then discard the garlic and the sprig of sage. If you used dried sage just leave it in.
Add the beans to the tomato mixture and if it is a little dry, you can use some of the reserved liquid to keep it moist.
Simmer for 15 minutes, letting the liquid evaporate.
Stir the balsamic vinegar through just before serving.