I've been wanting to try to make homemade baked beans since I tried some in a hostel in Florence. I'd been out all night with my best friend Rach when we decided to sample the 4 euro breakfast at the place where we were staying. I was yet to eat a full meal since arriving as vegan fare was proving pretty hard to come by, that was until I found the huge metal dishes of cannelini beans stewing in a rich tomato and rosemary sauce at the hostel canteen. Despite a hangover veering on sea sickness, me and Rach made it through two platefuls of these beans, with just bread and black coffee. I loved how something traditionally English and run-of-the-mill had been turned into one of the most delicious breakfasts ever after being translated into Italian.
This isn't fast food, it will take about an hour to prepare, but it's worth every minute. You'll know it's properly ready when the tomatoes reduce way down so they make the beans almost sticky and rich with the olive oil.
1 tin haricot beans
1 tin cannellini beans
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 onion, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, chopped small
1 carton or tin of chopped tomatoes
Sweat the onions, garlic and seasoning in a frying pan with plenty of olive oil. Once the onion begins to go translucent add both tins of beans with some sprigs of rosemary, and a little water to stop the beans from sticking.
Allow the beans to cook and reduce into the water, checking the seasoning for enough salt and pepper. Once the liquid has gone, add the tin of tomatoes and stir into the beans. Now simmer for around 30 minutes until the beans are well done and the tomato juice totally reduced.
Add a sprig of rosemary and more olive oil before serving. These will keep in the fridge for at least another day, but be warned, they'll steal the limelight from pretty much anything else you put on your plate.