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Fasoi in salsa di magro

This bean dish is a Venetian specialty, similar to the famous bigoli in salsa. Salsa di magro, meaning lean sauce, is the term given to a sauce made without meat during Lent. This recipe works best with fresh borlotti beans. Make sure you use good-quality anchovies and feel free to toss through some parsley for a little extra colour. 

You'll need

800 gm fresh podded borlotti beans (1.6kg unpodded) To serve: crusty bread slices (optional)   Salsa di magro 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil 2 Spanish onions, thinly sliced 8 anchovy fillets, rinsed, plus extra (optional) to serve


  • 01
  • Place beans in a saucepan, cover completely with cold water, bring to the boil over medium heat and cook until tender (20-30 minutes). Drain (reserve 100ml cooking water) and keep warm.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for salsa di magro, heat oil in a large frying pan, add onion and sauté over low heat until very tender and starting to caramelise (15-20 minutes), add anchovies and reserved cooking water and stir until anchovies break up and dissolve (3-5 minutes). Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper, toss through beans and serve warm with crusty bread slices and extra anchovies.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Gutsy southern Italian rosato.

Featured in

May 2010

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