Giant Beans with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Tomato Paste

  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings


1/3cup extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for drizzling
3cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
1/2cup water
1/4teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional if you like
2 (15-ounce) cans butter beans, rinsed and drained
1/4teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
24 basil leaves
Fresh oregano, for garnish


  1. Heat a saucepan on high heat until hot. Add the olive oil and garlic, and sauté the garlic until it has turned a light golden color on all sides. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the tomato paste, and with a wooden spoon stir constantly for 1 minute. This process helps the natural sugar from the tomatoes come out so the sauce doesn’t taste bitter. Add ½ cup of water and the salt, and simmer for 10 minutes on low heat. Add the butter beans, and mix gently so you don’t break the beans. Taste and add more salt if needed. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes to heat through.
  2. Pour into a serving bowl and drizzle extra olive oil over the top. Sprinkle on the red pepper flakes and fresh basil and oregano. Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature.

Reprinted with permission from Cristina Ferrare’s Big Bowl of Love by Cristina Ferrare, Sterling Publishing.