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borlotti beans stew
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Borlotti Beans

You are going to love these Italian Borlotti beans cooked down until thick and creamy with leeks, garlic and olive oil. A simple but so delicious hearty bean stew brimming with a nutty savory flavor balanced perfectly by a little tomato sweetness.
Course Entree
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Bean Stew, Borlotti beans
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Soaking 6 hours
Total Time 7 hours 25 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 144kcal
Author Florentina


  • 1 large yellow onion or 1 leek chopped and rinsed well
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 2.5 cups borlotti beans dried
  • 2 Tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2-3 Tbsp brined capers roughly chopped
  • 7-8 Tbsp tomato paste double concentrated
  • 1 Tbsp chili paste optional for heat
  • 2-3 strips lemon peel
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tsp onion powder
  • 7-8 cups water
  • 1/2 bunch Italian parsley roughly chopped
  • S + P to taste


  • Rinse and soak the borlotti beans in cold water for 6 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse again.
    2.5 cups borlotti beans
    dried borlotti beans
  • Preheat a heavy bottom soup pot over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil and saute the onion or leek until softened and begins to get some color around the edges.
    1 large yellow onion
  • Stir in the fennel seeds and toast around until fragrant then add the garlic and capers. Cook another minute or so until you can smell the garlic.
    5 garlic cloves, 2 Tbsp fennel seeds, 2-3 Tbsp brined capers
  • Add the tomato paste (+ chili paste if using) and toss to coat well with the onion mixture.
    7-8 Tbsp tomato paste, 1 Tbsp chili paste
  • Add the soaked beans to the pot together with the rosemary, bay leaves, lemon peel and onion powder. Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and keep at a a constant boil for 45 minutes stirring now and then.
    2.5 cups borlotti beans, 2-3 strips lemon peel, 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, 2 bay leaves, 3 tsp onion powder, 7-8 cups water
  • Check the beans at the 45 minute mark and season with a pinch of good sea salt. Continue cooking an addition 15 to 30 minutes or until the beans are buttery soft to your liking. (Keep a close eye on them towards the end and make sure they don’t reduce too much and do not stick to the bottom of the pot).
    S + P to taste
  • Remove from heat, adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley. Serve with a drizzle of onion chive pesto, pickled red onions and some fresh crusty bread.
    1/2 bunch Italian parsley


  • Chive Pesto - Blend 1 bunch onion chives + 1/4 cup pepitas or pine nuts + 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar + 1/4 cup ev olive oil. Season with a pinch of sea salt and add more oil or water until desired consistency is achieved. Drizzle over the beans.



  • More Veggies - You could beef up your stew with a mix of root vegetables, a fennel bulb, bell peppers, carrot and celery. Take it in a smoky direction with just a little sweet smoked paprika, but not too much. Instead of the chive pesto drizzle opt for sun dried tomato pesto, crispy fried sage or basil walnut pesto.
  • Pasta e Fagioli  - Lastly you could add a handful of your favorite pasta here for a great rendition of the classic pasta e fazool. Make sure to wilt in some dark leafy greens at the very end like escarole, spinach, Lacinato kale or thinly shredded Savoy cabbage.
  • Canned Beans - The flavor base of this stew is so rich that you can rich for a canned beans and make this last minute. Make sure to cut the water amount in half and adjust seasonings as you go.
  • Storage - Soups and stew make the best leftovers. They can be refrigerated up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months in freezer proof containers. Remember to let them thaw out in the refrigerator before reheating on the stove top or the microwave oven. I'll argue they are always best served with a thick slice of garlic bruschetta.
  • Chive Pesto - Blend 1 bunch onion chives + 1/4 cup pepitas or pine nuts + 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar + 1/4 cup ev olive oil. Season with a pinch of sea salt and add more oil or water until desired consistency is achieved. 


Calories: 144kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 243mg | Potassium: 573mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 569IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 3mg