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White Navy Bean / Borlotti Beans


  • 1 lb dried borlotti or white navy beans
  • 8 cups stock
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 onions
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 3 sprigs fresh sage
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano or 4-5 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar


  • Soak the beans overnight in cold water. Rinse thoroughly, picking out any of the skins.
  • Peel the onions, tomato, potato, and garlic, leaving whole. Cut the onions, tomato, and potato in half.
  • Place the beans in a large pot, add the vegetables, tea pocket, bouquet garni, bay leaves, and cover by an inch or two with stock.
  • Simmer 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally, adding more water if necessary.
  • When the beans are soft, remove the onion, chopping and mashing up. Mash the tomato, potato and any garlic pieces.
  • Remove the bouquet garni, the tea pocket and bay leaves.
  • Add more water if desired, add the olive oil and the vinegar, stir to combine.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve with buttery sourdough toast.


If using dried oregano, put peppercorns and oregano in cheesecloth or a tea pocket and tie shut with twine.
I added a 3 inch piece of sausage and a small piece of smoked pork chop left over from dinner before. It's not necessary, but it does add a bit of flavor.
Adapted from Jamie Cooks Italy