Beans “in a flask” on grilled bread

February 10, 2020 Published by Dina
Beans in a flask – Fagioli al Fiasco (not really, in a pot)

I cook a lot of legumes and grains and this bean dish is one of my favourite. I make it with less liquid or more liquid, depending on what I do with it. When we were in Italy a while back we spent a month in Rome. One of the most memorable lunches we had was at a restaurant near the Spanish Steps called Ristoranto Nino. At the entrance, behind glass, there was a flask with white beans cooking in it, slowly over low heat for a long time.

Fagioli al Fiasco is a traditional Tuscan dish that used to be cooked in a round Chianti wine bottle, placed in the warm ashes at the edge of the fireplace and cooked overnight. I don’t have a glass flask or fireplace with ashes so I cook it in an enamel cast iron pot on top of the stove and it is a beautiful dish.

The cannellini beans are soaked overnight (I know some people do not soak the beans) , then drained and cooked with stock or water, olive oil, garlic and sage and some chilli peppers for a little heat. It’s not fast food but it is easy and delicious and so worth taking the time to make.

I served it over grilled bread so I made the beans with more liquid to help soften the bread. I also had sage pesto so I spooned it onto the beans at the table.


Beans “in a flask” on grilled bread

Recipe by Dina HonkeDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time








  • 1 cup cannellini beans, soaked overnight

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • A couple fo stems of fresh sage

  • A pinch of hot pepper flakes

  • 4 cups water or stock

  • Salt and pepper

  • Additional olive oil for drizzling

  • Sourdough bread, sliced

  • Olive oil

  • 1/2 garlic clove, sliced lengthwise

  • Shaved parmesan if you wish


  • Soak the beans overnight, then drain, discarding the water.
  • Heat oil over medium heat, add onion and cook until tender but not brown.
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant, being careful not to burn it.
  • Add the beans, sage and hot pepper flakes and enough stock to cover the beans by 2 inches.
  • Bring the beans to a slow boil, then reduce heat and let cook until they are tender, about an hour. Watch the pot and add more water as necessary to keep them from drying. I made mine a bit soupy this time.
  • When the beans are ready add salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with a little more olive oil.
  • Brush the bread with olive oil and grill in a panini maker.
  • When the bread is ready stick a fork in the half garlic and rub the cut side of the garlic against the grilled bread to impart a little garlicky flavour.
  • Place the grilled bread in a bowl and spoon the beans over,
  • Drizzle olive oil over and shave a bit of parmesan if you wish.

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