Escarole and Beans

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Soak one pound of white beans (white kidney _ cannoli? _ navy, pea beans all OK. Even pinto in a pinch) overnight in water to cover plus 1 inch


Cover one pound of white beans with water to cover plus one inch, bring to the boil & boil for one minute then remove from heat, cover & soak one hour.

Drain soaking water, rinse & pick out rocks & yucky beans. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil, add 1 Tablespoon (olive) oil, a clove of garlic & simmer until squashy __ 2 hours or so. Don't add salt or tomato sauce until the beans are tender.


Open 2_3 one pound cans of plain white beans & drain well.

Once the beans are tender, add tomato sauce to taste & simmer until it's convenient to add the pasta. I would use about a quart of homemade tomato sauce for this amount of beans, but commercial sauce is more concentrated, so adjust for the amount you need. Use Italian style with garlic & basil and add extra basil, garlic, etc. to taste. The traditional version is also spiked with hot pepper.

Feel free to adjust sauciness & seasoning to make it the way you like, since this is more a general idea than a formula. This is fat free, of course, except for the bit of oil in the beginning. The oil helps keep the beans from boiling over & somehow seems to help them get more tender & creamy, so don't omit it. More olive oil would be tastier, no doubt.

To make escarole or other beans & greens, cook the beans until mushy as above. Wash & chop up a large head of escarole or two, or some other green like Swiss chard. In the bottom of a large pan, saute one or two cloves of garlic in olive oil. Add the wet greens and cook until they wilt down. Add the beans with their broth and simmer until the greens are tender. Along the way salt & add pepper (hot red or black) to taste.

TThis information was placed on the web by Thomas J. Sienkewicz. If you have any questions about this document, you may contact him at