Fagioli all’Uccelletto means “beans in tomato sauce,” in Italian. It is a popular side dish served at restaurants and family kitchens throughout Tuscany.
Our healthy vegan Tuscan Beans in Tomato Sauce recipe is quick & easy to make, ready to serve in under an hour.
Cannellini beans simmer in a pot with tomato passata, onion and olive oil until tender. The simmering sauce is then flavoured with sage and garlic.
Serve the simple and affordable side dish with creamy polenta or your favourite pasta!
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What Is Fagioli all’Uccelletto?
Fagioli all’Uccelletto is a hearty and heart warming beans in tomato sauce recipe from Italy.
It’s a typical side dish from Florence but can be found throughout Tuscany. Various types of beans can be used to prepare the classic recipe, such as cannellini, borlotti, lamon, monachini and schiaccioni .
Legumes originated in the region and comprise several recipes, earning Tuscans the nickname mangiafagioli, “bean eaters.” The beans feature prominently in ribollita, a Tuscan bread soup. Cannellini beans “prepared all’uccelletto” can also be served as zuppetta (soup).
Uccelletto means little bird in Italian yet the recipe is vegetarian and vegan. It’s not known where the name originated though it is thought that the flavours of sage and tomato, usually paired with game meat is the reasoning behind it.
Travel to Italy by Cooking Fagioli all’Uccelletto at Home
I love traveling to Europe!
During my first visit to the continent I traveled for 5 months by train and plane. I had the opportunity to eat my way through Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Croatia, Bosnia, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Greece, Turkey, France, Malta and Italy.
What I love most about traveling to Italy is the opportunity to sample unique dishes in each region and city. The dishes in Tuscany (Florence, Pisa, Volterra, Saturnia, Pitigliano, Sorano, Montalcino, Siena) are unique from what you’d find in Venice, Modena, Milan, Rome and the Amalfi Coast.
I first spotted Fagioli all’Uccelletto on a menu at an award winning restaurant at a luxury hotel in Siena. The dish was paired with a massive Florentine steak but since it’s vegan I was able to share it with my friend who enjoys meat-free feasting.
Once back home from an Italian holiday you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the flavours of Tuscany and can impress friends and family by making our authentic Fagioli all’Uccelletto recipe!
Where To Eat Fagioli all’Uccelletto
Haven’t traveled to Italy before? It may be helpful to first sample Fagioli all’Uccelletto at a local Italian restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You can assess the ideal bean to tomato sauce ratio, perfect portion size to offer each guest and complimentary side dishes to serve at the table.
My Family Loves Tuscan Beans in Tomato Sauce
I love cooking regional Italian dishes for my family and friends.
I first made this Beans in Tomato Sauce recipe from Tuscany on a cold winter day at our cottage in Muskoka. With a blizzard outside I kept cozy inside, sipping wine while stirring the fagioli all’uccelletto as it slowly simmered.
I knew my family would enjoy this tasty Tuscan recipe because they love beans, sweet tomato sauce and healthy side dishes that are vegan and vegetarian friendly.
We paired the hearty beans in tomato sauce with creamy cheesy polenta. I suggest serving the dish in a pasta bowl. Scoop a few spoonfuls of polenta cornmeal porridge into the bowl and top with a ladleful of fagioli all’uccelletto.
A bowl of steaming Tuscan Beans in Tomato Sauce scooped straight out of the pot is honestly the best comfort food!
Our vegan Fagioli all’Uccelletto recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
Rich in a group of phytochemicals called carotenoids, tomatoes may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and provide protection against cancer. Tomatoes are also a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C.
Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.
Olive Oil is ranked as one of the healthiest fats and is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It contains vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants.
A small amount of sage packs 10% of your daily vitamin K requirements. It also features small amounts of magnesium, zinc, copper and vitamins A, C and E.
Beans are rich in cancer-fighting vitamin C, energy-boosting B vitamins, and gut-healthy fibre.
An excellent source of vitamin K, as well as vitamin C, folate, and iron, parsley helps keep your bones and blood healthy, and protects your skin from damage by free radicals.
Fagioli all’Uccelletto Recipe Cooking Tips
This simple Beans in Tomato Sauce recipe is quick and easy to make at home.
- Use a large pot or Dutch Oven with a lid to simmer the beans in tomato sauce to avoid splattering.
- We use passata in this recipe but you can use fresh finely chopped tomatoes or canned tomatoes if you prefer. Just ensure they are blended together until smooth before adding them to the pot. You can use a blender or food processor.
- We’ve used a Spanish cooking onion in this recipe but you can substitute for shallots, white onion or sweet vidalia onion.
- Don’t skimp on the olive oil, use the entire 1/4 cup as it adds richness to the sauce.
- We’ve used canned cannellini beans in this recipe so it can be prepared quickly. You can also use dried beans but ensure you have soaked and simmered them the day before you’re planning to serve the dish.
- We’ve garnished the beans with fresh parsley but you can also sprinkle with parmesan if you’re a cheese lover.
- We suggest serving the dish with an Italian red wine as it pairs nicely with savoury tomato sauce.
What To Serve With Tuscan Beans in Tomato Sauce
There’s nothing more comforting than cozying up to a bowl of homemade Fagioli all’Uccelletto!
The popular Tuscan side dish can be enjoyed on its own or as part of a larger meal. It is one of our favourite vegan and vegetarian friendly dishes to serve at an Italian dinner party.
For a light lunch or dinner, pair beans in tomato sauce with fresh salads like Vegetarian Roasted Pumpkin Feta Salad, Roasted Beetroot Salad, Garlic Lemon Chickpea Avocado Salad and Fennel, Apple, Celery and Roasted Hazelnut Salad.
If you’re hosting an Italian-themed dinner party we suggest serving Fagioli all’Uccelletto as part of a decadent buffet featuring:
- Burrata Bruschetta Crostini
- Lumache Rigate Snail Pasta with Garlic Butter
- Creamy Saffron Tagliatelle Pasta with Ricotta and Mint
- Mafalda Pasta Noodles
- Ndunderi Amalfi Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi
- Fresh Fig Prosciutto Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Gorgonzola Risotto al Radicchio
- Crispy Roast Chicken and Leek Risotto
- Sartu Di Riso Italian Baked Risotto
- Cheesy Polenta
- Involtini di Pollo
- Aperol Gin Cocktail
- Italian Prosecco and Gin Cocktail
- Amaretto Disaronno Sour
- Negroni Spritz Cocktail
Other Vegetarian Recipes You May Enjoy…
- Perkedel Jagung Crispy Indonesian Corn Fritters
- Creamy Cheesy Greek Spanakopita Dip
- Balila Healthy Lebanese Chickpea Salad
- Pancar Salatasi Turkish Beet Yogurt Salad
- Korozott Hungarian Cottage Cheese Spread
- Sigara Börek Crispy Turkish Feta Cheese Filo Cigar Rolls
- Tepsi Boregi Vegetarian Turkish Filo Cheese Pie
- Vegetarian Aloo Bharta Indian Style Mashed Potatoes
- Nakladany Hermelin Czech Marinated Camembert Cheese
- Healthy Prasorizo Vegetarian Greek Leek Rice
- Creamy Vegetarian Strapatsada Greek Scrambled Eggs
- Cheesy Vegetarian Cabbage with Rice
- Vegetarian Indian Grilled BBQ Paneer Kebabs
How To Make Traditional Fagioli all’Uccelletto
Fagioli all’Uccelletto Tuscan Beans in Tomato Sauce
- Large Skillet
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- French knife
- Wooden spoon or spatula
- 1 cup Tomato Passata
- 1 Small Spanish Onion finely chopped
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Dried Sage
- 5 Garlic Cloves minced
- 19 oz Canned Cannellini Beans
- Kosher Salt & Pepper
- 1 tbsp Parsley chopped
- Warm half the olive oil in a saute pan over medium low heat. Add the onions, stir and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Crush the dried sage between your fingers and add to the pan.
- Stir in the garlic then raise the heat slightly and stir for 2-3 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the rest of the olive oil and beans, with most of their cooking liquid. Add the passata and add any water needed to ensure the beans are covered completely. Bring to a slow simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature, uncovered. About 10 minutes before serving, reheat the beans, stirring gently once or twice over low heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with the remaining olive oil and chopped parsley. Serve with crusty bread, pasta or polenta.
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