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Cannellini Beans with Sauteed Onions and Garlic

1 pound cannellini beans -- sorted, rinsed
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
Water -- as needed
3 cups diced onion
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes -- (optional)


In a large pot, place the cannellini beans, bay leaf, thyme, and sage, add enough water to cover the beans by two inches, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender.


Drain any extra cooking liquid from the beans and save for use in soups or stews. Return the cooked beans to the pot, remove the bay leaf and discard it, and set beans aside.


In a non-stick skillet, saute the onion in olive oil for 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the garlic and saute an additional 2 to 3 minutes or until both are tender.


Add the sauteed onion mixture and remaining ingredients to the cooked beans, and stir well to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Add a little of the cooking liquid, if desired, for a moister product. Transfer to a large bowl for service.


This recipe yields 6 to 8 servings.


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