Curly Endive and Cannellini Beans Cicoria e Fagioli

Serves 4/6

200g (7 oz) dried cannelloni beans, or 1 x 425g (15 oz) can cannelloni beans
400g (14 oz) curly endive, bataiva or dandelion leave, washed
6 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 small dried red chillies, crumbled
600ml (1 pint) water
Salt and pepper to taste

This is a good accompaniment for stronger tasting meats such as pork or lamb.

Put the dried beans to soak for 12 hours or more in a large bowl (they increase in size). Drain them and boil for 2 hours in fresh unsalted water. Salt at the end of the cooking time. If using canned beans drain them from their liquid and rinse them before use. Wash the endive and cut it up into short lengths.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, fry the garlic without browning, and then add the endive and chillies. Keeping the heat high, stir-fry for a minute of two, coating the endive with the oil, then add the drained cannelloni beans, some salt and the water. If you are using canned beans you will find they will absorb less liquid, so reduce the amount of water slightly. Bring to the boil, cover the saucepan and reduce the heat. Simmer until the endive is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, but the consistency is still slightly soupy.

This recipe is from An Invitation to Italian Cooking