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Cooking With Borlotti Beans Can Be Healthy And Delicious

If you want a healthy and delicious meal that is easy to cook which can be adapted for an almost endless number of recipes, try cooking with Borlotti beans.

Cooking With Borlotti Beans - Soaked

Soaked Beans

I enjoy cooking with authentic Italian ingredients and traditional recipes that are from Rome or other parts of Italy. Borlotti beans are a great option for those of us trying to maintain a Mediterranean Diet, cook more meatless dishes or you just love beans and are looking for something new. I fit all three of these descriptions and Borlotti beans are a perfect solution.

Do Borlotti Beans Taste Like Pinto Beans?

Yes, they do taste like Pinto beans, but they are a bit bigger. If you are working on a recipe, but can’t find dried Borlotti recipes, first you should cry, then you should go to the dried beans section of your grocery store and get some Pinto or Small Red beans. If you actually see Cranberry beans, they are the same thing.

Can You Eat Borlotti Beans Fresh?

I have seen some recommendations for eating Borlotti beans fresh, but it looks like too much work for me. You need to pick them during a very narrow window when they are ripe enough, but not getting dried. In other words, don’t bother. I would recommend using dried beans, but canned and jarred beans can work if you are short on time.

What Is The Best Way To Eat Borlotti Beans?

This is where I will show some biases, which is another way of saying: “Don’t Listen To Brits About Food!”. I saw some recommendations from some UK authors to mash them up and put them on toast, which might be the worst way I’ve heard of them being prepared.

I have two recommendations for cooking with Borlotti beans, one is in a salad with onions and anchovies and the other is in a traditional Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta Fazool) recipe. Both recipes are listed down below.

Cooking With Borlotti Beans - And Onions

Beans And Onions

Should Borlotti Beans Be Soaked Before Cooking?

If you are using dried beans, then they should be soaked overnight before cooking with them. This isn’t a requirement, because it is not uncommon to simply cook the beans longer from being dried, but I think they turn out a little mealy and mushy, so I prefer to soak them overnight and cook them the proper length of time, which is usually around 40 minutes.

If you buy beans in a jar or can, these do not need to be soaked overnight, but simply rinsed and added to the salad or stove, depending on your dish. If you bought fresh Borlotti beans, meaning still in the pod, not dried and not in a can, you should NOT soak these either. They are ready to be boiled.

What Are The Most Popular Beans In Italy?

Beans are very popular in Italian cooking and Borlotti beans are no exception. Because of their amazing flavor and creamy texture, you will find various beans in salads, main dishes and side dishes across Italy. I don’t want to get into what is a real legume, but I will say that the most popular beans in Italy are the Cannellini, Borlotti and Black beans, but you can’t skip the Ceci, Fava, Green, Cuneo beans and the very popular Lentils.

Cooking With Borlotti Beans - Check Color Pattern

Check The Color Pattern

How To Cook Borlotti Beans From A Can

As with most beans from a can or a jar, Borlotti beans from a can should be considered already cooked, so rinsing them off and adding them directly to a salad or pan is perfectly fine. I don’t usually cook with beans from a can, despite how much easier it makes things in the kitchen, but if you want to use them, then go for it.

One of the reasons I don’t use beans from a can is because they typically seem too soft and overcooked for my tastes. I prefer a bit of a bite when I enjoy a bean dish, so my preferred method is to rehydrate dried beans, but it is entirely up to you.

The recipe changes can get a bit tricky because there isn’t a good conversion for dried beans versus canned.  From an article on SeriousEats, here is a good conversion from Dried to Canned, and I would use Red Kidney as the measure for Borlotti:

Type of BeanWeight DriedEquivalent Cooked
Cannellini 1 pound 2 lb. 8 oz. (6.5 cups)
Chickpeas 1 pound 3 lb. 4 oz. (7 cups)
Red Kidney 1 pound 2 lb. 7 oz. (6.5 cups)
Pinto 1 pound 2 lb. 5 oz. (6.5 cups)
Black 1 pound 2 lb. 5 oz. (7 cups)
Black-Eyed Peas 1 pound 2 lb. 13 oz. (6.5 cups)

More Options For Cooking With Borlotti Beans

If you found this information on cooking with Borlotti beans helpful or inspiring, here are some recipes that I think you might find useful:

Recipes That Can Use Borlotti Beans

Other Recipes And Ingredients You Might Like

Cooking With Borlotti Beans - Pasta And Beans

Pasta And Beans

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