Umbrellas, Florence ~ Fagioli Affogati e Fettunta
Photograph by Steve Webb
This Month in Photo of the Day: 2012 National Geographic Photo Contest Images
During a heavy downpour in Florence, Italy, water enhances the aged character of a road, highlighting an array of monochromatic textures. The transient, colorful umbrellas pass through the scene, all uniting and forming a striking image. Two of them unite, suggesting a closer connection, in colorful, romantic Florence.
Fagioli Affogati e Fettunta
(Drowned Beans and Toasted Bread w/ olive oil) ~ Tuscan Recipe
2 cups cannellini or white beans
Fresh sage leaves
1 clove garlic, peeled
Freshly ground pepper
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
Soak beans in 3 quarts water overnight in clay or ceramic bean pot.
Drain beans and return to pan along with 3 quarts fresh cold water.
Add sage leaves, 1 teaspoon salt and garlic. Place pan over minimum
heat (lower heat is better) and cook until tender, about 2 1/2 hours,
stirring occasionally with wooden spoon.
Drain beans and place in serving dish. Season to taste with salt and
pepper and cover with freshly pressed olive oil. If using calmed-down
oil, reduce amount to 1 cup. Makes 16 side-dish servings or about 8
Fettunta (Toasted bread with olive oil)
Extra-virgin olive oil.
This dish is generally associated with the month of November, when the olives have been gathered and the oil is newly pressed. Obviously it is eaten all year round, but in other seasons in lacks that characteristic pungent flavour of the new oil. Cut the bread about a centimetre thick, grill well on both sides and rub one side generously with a clove of garlic. You just have to forget the unpleasant effect on your breath, if you are going to enjoy this properly: semel in anno licet insanire, as Dante once said, “everyone can go mad at least once a year”.
Place the slices on a large serving platter and drizzle the oil over them. Season with salt and pepper and eat while still hot. In the summer you can top the crostini with chopped tomatoes, or tomato sauce. In winter, fettunta is the basis of Fagioli Affogati, place the slice of bread in a soup bowl and cover with boiled cannellini beans, adding a little of the thick liquid in which they were cooked. Season with oil, salt and pepper.