Fresh Borlotti Beans with Sage and Garlic

Borlotti beans are large plump beans that are pinkish-brown in colour with reddish-brown streaks. The beautiful shells of the Borlotti’s bright colored pods make a festive table accent. The shell is inedible, but the Borlotti beans inside are a culinary treat. Nutty in flavor with a creamy texture.

This Borlotti bean recipe is so simple that you might wonder whether it will really taste good. But be reassured, the flavor of the fresh sage and the garlic add an amazing Italian aroma to the beans.

Add more water if you prefer more of a soup like consistency. Feel free to add chopped Tuscan kale to the soup at the end of the cooking time.


The dish tastes even better the next day when the beans had more time to soak up the flavors.

In case you can’t find fresh beans, use dried Borlotti beans and soak them overnight. The cooking time for dried beans is longer and will be around 1 1/2 hours.


Don’t forget to dip pieces of bread into the flavorful sauce!

Fresh Burlotti Beans with Sage and Garlic
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
  1. 2 pounds (about 800 grams) fresh borlotti beans, shelled
  2. 8 garlic cloves, NOT peeled
  3. A handful of fresh sage leaves (the more, the better)
  4. 6 plum tomatoes, quartered
  5. 2 tbsp extra vergin olive oil
  6. sea salt and freshly ground back pepper
  7. Chili oil (optional)
  1. In a large pot, combine the beans with garlic, sage, tomatoes and olive oil and cover with filtered water by an inch (1 cm).
  2. Bring mixture to the boil and simmer for 45-50 minutes or until soft.
  3. Add water as needed to keep the beans covered.
  4. Squeeze the garlic out of the shells, squish it with a spoon and season the beans with salt and pepper. Add a little bit of chili oil and serve with fresh bread.

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