Creamy White Beans with Garlic and Sage

A traditional Italian recipe that is a perfect foil for lamb. Use cannelini or other kinds of beans such as navy or pea beans. Some beans take longer to cook than others, depending on their age. Keep cooking until they are very soft. The garlic and the juices unite to make a wonderful sauce. Salt toughens beans if added too early, so season the dish just before serving.

Serves 8


  • 2 cups dried white beans
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 6 cloves garlic, cut in half
  • 2 tbsp sage leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley


Soak beans overnight in water to cover by 2 inches (5 cm). Drain beans and rinse.


Heat oil in pot on medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic cloves and sage leaves, stir with onions then add beans.

Pour in water to cover by 2 inches (5 cm). Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook another 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally or until beans are soft and a thick sauce has formed. Add more water if necessary. Season well with salt and pepper.

Before serving drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parsley.