Delicate in shape and light in color, this ubiquitous bean is found in antipasti, soups and in main dishes throughout Italy. Creamy white and fairly large, this bean is about the same size as a kidney bean and maintains its shape when cooked. Originally from Toscana, they can now be found in most parts of Italy. They are mostly sold in dry form and then soaked overnight before being cooked.
Cannellini beans are essential for Ribollita - a classic Tuscan Cabbage and Bean soup (recipe found on page 133 of Molto Italiano).
To cook dried beans, here's a trusted three step process: soak the beans overnight and drain. Add clean, cold water (three times as much as the beans by volume) and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a high simmer and cool until just tender. Drain and refresh with cold water. Do not add salt or acidic ingredients such as lemon juice to the first three steps or the kinds may become tough. The drained, cooled beans can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days
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