Puttanesca Style Beans and Toast is the most sophisticated meal from the pantry I’ve had in a long time. It marries all the vivacious flavors of one of my favorite Italian pasta recipes with the humble bean, and the result is pure delicious.
I’m so excited about this dish, I came up with it to make use of a batch of freshly soaked beans, and it’s pretty ingenious, if I do say so myself. The sophisticated flavors of a classic pasta puttanesca are too good not to reinvent over and over again. I did it recently with chicken thighs, and now with beans. Whichever way you like it, this meal is super healthy ~ the Mediterranean diet continues to be one of the most reliably smart ways to eat we know of.
Ingredients for Puttanesca Style Beans and Toast ~
All of these will come from a well stocked pantry…
- beans ~ you might use dried red, pink, pinto, white, or kidney. Soak them overnight first. I don’t think black beans or chickpeas would work as well. You can use canned beans if you need to, but I prefer dried in this recipe for best flavor and texture.
- bay leaf
- olive oil
- red onion
- canned cherry tomatoes ~ I used Mutti brand. Use whole or chopped tomatoes if you can’t find the cherries. Of course you can use fresh if you’ve got them.
- anchovies (optional of course)
- red pepper flakes
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
Most of us have dried beans in our kitchen, and most of the time they just take up space. But hopefully you’ll start to see them in a new light after trying this dish.
Why should you eat more beans?
Beans are too good for you to pass up.
- Beans are an affordable source of protein that is healthier for you (and the planet) than animal protein.
- Beans are full of fiber, iron, and vitamins.
- They’re relatively low in calories when compared to other protein sources, and keep you feeling full longer.
- Beans are a common link in many longevity diet studies.
- They can help keep your heart and gut healthy, as well as fight cancer.
It’s all about the garnish…
Thinly sliced and toasted bread makes this meal so satisfying. You can rub a garlic clove over the toasted bread if you like. I like to top my beans with shavings of Parmesan, and some good Italian canned tuna packed in olive oil would not be crazy.
- Brothy Beans with Garlic Toast
- Italian White Bean Soup with Sausage Meatballs
- Rainbow Bean Salad
- Chicken Thighs with White Beans
- Mediterranean Bean Salad
Puttanesca Style Beans with Toast
- 1 heaping cup dried beans, soaked overnight
- 2 bay leaves
- sea salt
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 8 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1/2 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- several anchovies, optional
- splash of dry Sherry or white wine, optional
- 14 ounce can cherry tomatoes (I use Mutti brand)
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced in half
- 1/4 cup pimento stuffed green olives, sliced in half
- 2 Tbsp capers, drained
- red chili flakes, to taste
- fresh cracked black pepper
- shavings of Parmesan cheese
- Soak the beans in plenty of cold water overnight. Drain and add the beans to a large pot. Cover with 2 inches of water, and add the bay leaves, peppercorns, and 4 tablespoons of the olive oil. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low, cover, and gently simmer until tender. This might take anywhere from 30-50+ minutes, depending on your beans. Mine took 40 minutes. You want the beans tender, but not mushy. Drain and reserve the liquid, you'll be adding some to the puttanesca sauce. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
- Put the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and saute the onions and garlic for a few minutes to soften the onions. (If you're using anchovies, add them now as well.) Add the splash of dry sherry to the pan, if using, and stir to allow it to evaporate.
- Add the canned tomatoes, olives, capers, red pepper flakes, and beans to the pan. Season with black pepper and add a couple of ladles of bean cooking water. Bring up to a simmer and simmer for a few minutes to let the flavor mingle.
- Toast your bread and serve the beans in shallow bowls with slices of bread on the side. Garnish with shaved Parmesan if you like.