La Dolce Vita: Italian Bean Collection
A one-pound bag each of our four favorite beans for cooking a la Italiana. Minestrone soups, pasta e fagioli or just a bowl of amore is in your future.
Marcella beans are grown in California from Italian Sorana seedstock. Sorana is a cannellini bean with incredibly thin skin and when cooked properly, an indulgent creamy texture. You can use them in your kitchen as you would any small white, European-style bean, but with an ingredient like this, simple is often better. Good crusty bread with some Marcella beans smashed on top, drizzled with your very best extra virgin olive oil and maybe a dusting of freshly cracked pepper is the new standard for “fast food.”
Cranberry (Borlotti) Beans:
Cranberry is an odd name for a lovely, versatile bean. Thought to be originally from Colombia and then bred in Italy, Cranberry beans are soft and dense with a velvety, rich texture. The thin skins help produce a rich bean broth, making it the natural friend of pasta e fagioli (pasta fazool) as the liquid coats each noodle with its luxurious sauce.
Royal Corona Beans:
A new hand-harvested crop straight from Europe into your pantry. Giant, fat, white runner beans that are creamier and more luxurious than Greek and Spanish gigandes and a little denser than traditional Italian coronas. Royal Corona beans can replace any white bean but be prepared to be astounded by how big they are when cooked. Fully cooked, they can be a little starchy but you can also keep cooking until they reach the creamy point.
Garbanzo (Ceci) Beans:
Garbanzos aren't a true "new world" bean, but we love them so much and the imported crops tend to be so old and dusty that we make this one of our California crops.
Optional: Napa Cakes Panforte
A traditional Italian classic. Napa Cakes Panforte combines almonds, hazelnuts, dried raisins, B&R Farms Blenheim apricots and tart cranberries with a bit of oat and almond flours, Salute Santé grapeseed flour and oil, honey, cocoa, cane sugar, and spices, then bake them slowly into moist, flavorful delectable cakes. Great for a cheese plate or with vin santo after dinner.